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18 JUL, 2008

Fashion begins with the human body and art based on fashion proceeds likewise from the same source. Implicit in Geum’s sculptures is the presence of a human form, though unseen, which gives each piece its shape. But shape is merely that: the likeness of a body without anima, without energy: a mannequin. Geum’s work goes beyond formal representation. Energy allows growth, movement and discovery, as exemplified in the forms of childrens’ clothing. As new life, children are symbolic of the kind of vitality that Geum imbues into her work. It’s perhaps easiest to see Geum’s children as basic metaphors for motion. Children connote not only growth, but expectation and hope – a dynamism of motion not only through space, but through time as well. Although Geum’s figures are by and large female, her work has less to do with gender than humanity. Her dresses depict femininity in the same way as childhood: through form, rather than objectification or cliché. The elegance of her empty dresses might be more suited to feminine depiction, but that in no way limits their message: that the possibility of Enlightenment – even just a glimmer – is often no more than taking one step back from chaos.

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