NOT X Chris Saunders / by admin


Mac D Print

17 April - 28 June 2015

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NOT x Chris Saunders opens at the Museum of African Design (MOAD) in Johannesburg’s Maboneng precinct on April 17th till 28 June, 2015. The exhibition is the culmination of the cross-cultural, interdisciplinary relationship between New York-based designer Jenny Lai, Johannesburg-based photographer Chris Saunders, and four local creatives from South Africa.

This exhibition reflects the journey and dialogue between these seven, who step outside of familiar ground. It demonstrates how technology enabled creators living in different cities and countries, with very varying influences and processes to meet via the Internet, enter into an inter-disciplinary exchange and collaboratively produce garments, sculptures, still and moving images.

In January 2014, NOT, an experimental womenswear brand based in New York, became a roving studio and practice. Its designer, Jenny Lai, traveled to Johannesburg to collaborate with photographer and filmmaker Chris Saunders. Chris’ personal work focuses on South African artistic subcultures.

‘NOT x Chris Saunders’ places itself at the emergence of reinvented cultural practice. Over a period of two months in 2014, the studio moved between Johannesburg, Orange Farm, Soweto and Cape Town. It resided in homes and studios of four local creators who each work with Lai to reinterpret a selection of NOT garments.

South African collaborators include Dennis Chuene of Vernac Bags, a designer who takes apart China bags to recreate stylish and functional backpacks, Dr Pachanga, a vintage clothier who introduces the global trade of 2nd hand clothing, Floyd Avenue, a streetwear and hat designer from the Smarteez fashion collective, Macdonald Mfolo, a costume designer for Pantsula dancers and maker of larger-than-life puppets, and finally Manthe Ribane, a performance artist who tours internationally with South African rap-rave band Die Antwoord. Each collaborator was chosen for the unique perspective they offered on South African fashion. Words by Missla Libsekal /

Artists: Jenny Lai & Chris Saunders

Participating artists: Dennis Chuene, Floyed Avenue, Dr Pachanga, Macdonald Mfolof, Manthe Ribane

Producer: Christina Fleuron

Exhibition Designer: Camila A. Morales

Graphic Designers: Christina Hogan (NYC) and Johan van Noordyk (JHB)

Social Media Manager: Amelia Maffin

Video Editor: Ross Maxwell

NOT x Chris Saunders was previously shown from 11 - 17 September in 2014 at Wallplay’s concept space on New York’s Lower East Side.