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Auckland Art Gallery's Stunning New Exhibition Focuses on World-Renowned Couture Designer Guo Pei

Guo Pei's masterpieces have been worn by celebrities around the world — and now they're in Auckland, ready and waiting to be adored.
By Emma Clark-Dow
December 08, 2023
By Emma Clark-Dow
December 08, 2023

World-renowned couture fashion designer Guo Pei is filling Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki with intricate and detailed dresses. There's no need to wonder why a collection of gowns is being displayed at a gallery reserved for artworks — because each of the pieces in Guo Pei: Fashion, Art, Fantasy 郭培:时装之幻梦 is a masterpiece.

The exhibition, which opens to the public from Saturday, December 9, showcases the pieces that Pei and her team painstakingly created over 15 years from 2005–2020. Although the collection highlights a successful time in her career, Pei has embroidery and ancient Chinese design techniques running through her bones, learning to sew at just two years old.

Pei creates her larger-than-life masterpieces, more than 60 of which are hitting Auckland, using painting and embroidery practices that have been part of Chinese culture for thousands of years — and by merging these traditions with more modern techniques. Perhaps nodding to who gets to wear these dresses, Pei uses China's rich history filled with legends as her inspiration for her designs, including one of Pei's most talked-about designs: Rihanna's 2015 Met Gala dress.

Visitors to Guo Pei: Fashion, Art, Fantasy 郭培:时装之幻梦 will also see pieces that've never been on display in a gallery or museum before.

"This exhibition celebrates one of the world's most-renowned couturiers. Guo Pei's extravagant ensembles are works of art, incorporating extraordinary fabrics and exquisite embroidery, and capturing influences from across the world. Each piece has been created with intricate skill and precision, representing thousands of hours of dedication and remarkable artistry," explains Director of Auckland Art Gallery Kirsten Lacy.

"I am delighted that visitors of Auckland Art Gallery will experience my works spanning many years," said Pei about bringing her collection to Aotearoa.

"As visitors walk through the exhibition, I hope they will be able to empathise with how I felt creating these works, as well as my passion towards different cultures all around the world."

Guo Pei: Fashion, Art, Fantasy 郭培:时装之幻梦 displays at Auckland Art Gallery on Saturday, December 9, 2023–Sunday, May 5, 2024 — head to the gallery website for further details and tickets.

Published on December 08, 2023 by Emma Clark-Dow
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