actual_size #10. Willem de Rooij


Fong Leng Sportswear, ca. 1985-1995
installation view MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, 2016
Courtesy of the artist, photo: AXEL SCHNEIDER

The image above features a tracksuit currently shown at MMK Frankfurt in the solo exhibition of WILLEM DE ROOIJ. The piece of outfit has been actually produced in the eighties by a Sino-Dutch designer called FONG-LENG. Since more than ten years, DE ROOIJ is collecting FONG-LENG’ sportswear which are presented in the exhibition in several groups of one, two, or three mannequins onto pedestals.

FONG-LENG was best known in the Netherlands for creating couture objects for exclusive clients. From the mid-’80s to the mid-’90s, she started to collaborate with large labels and thus to open her brand to a wider audience. Her work inevitably shifted to ‘something made for the few’ to ‘something made for the many’. DE ROOIJ is not only interested into this transition of audience which had effects on FONG-LENG’s artistic outputs but also into abstract ideas of different cultures such african printing techniques, navajo formal elements or chinese inspired embroideries (cf image above) that those clothes are carrying.

WILLEM DE ROOIJ is sharing his fascination for these garments without layers of mediation, not trying to claim ownership other than putting them into a different context.

Entitled by WILLEM DE ROOIJ is on view at MMK, Frankfurt am Main until January 8, 2017.



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