Having created exceptional textile designs for the likes of Nike, Johnnie Walker, H&M and Alexander McQueen, Shan Jiang and Ying Wu set out in 2010 to create a truly unique luxury accessories brand in London.
Pig, Chicken & Cow was born from a fusion of art, craft and fashion. The result is a collection of opulent, intricate and imaginative scarves that we can't get enough of.
Their works are strongly influenced by the magical atmosphere of their home city of Shanghai, with its interplaying skyscrapers and bungalows, contemporary concepts and traditional superstitions, communist ideology and flourishing subcultures. The artwork in each scarf tells a story - "Why settle for a scarf when you can wear a story instead" they say.
They draw inspiration from a myriad of styles including Chinese Meticulous Art, Ukiyo-e, Bauhaus, Durer, Jean Giraud, Eduardo Paolozzi and manga, to create wearable artworks unlike any we have seen.
"All our designs are initiated from hand drawings with pen and pencil. From the finest hand-drawn lines, intricately woven visions are born. We treat each scarf as a piece of art - a dreamscape shaped in ink on silk, that can even be mounted and displayed." - Shan Jiang and Ying Wu.
Eager to learn about the incredible stories behind their 'artworks of imaginative wonder', we caught up with the designers to find out more...
We really like the story of Eden from Old Testament which we think is one of the most poetic interpretations of the origin of the human being.
So we decided to do a series of works to give the story different interpretations. It consists of four scarves/artworks: Eden Garden, Eden Planet, Eden River and Eden Bird. Each scarf has different points of view and use completely different styles. In the Eden Garden, we made the snake the guardian of the garden; In Eden Planet, we imagine that the garden is a space mothership; and in the Eden River, the story is actually happening in an aquarium.
Under the Sea:
Everyday we encounter and shift among different ’worlds’: the daytime and the night time; at work and at home; in the reality and in the dream. When we see things at the surface, we know there are also things underneath as we know the coin has two sides.
Especially when we are on the sea, we know that what is upon the water is completely different from the world under the sea which is just a mystery. It's not just the fish, turtles, and undersea mountains that make it mysterious, but for us, it's a world of aliens, monsters and ghosts. Anything can happen if we go through the endlessly dark water.
The artwork illustrated this feeling. The giant wave-formed skull is inspired by 19th Century ukiyo-e artist Kuniyoshi Utagawa’s 'Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre’ which symbolised the fantasy world that exists underneath the world we know.
The Age of Turtles:
Because of overwhelming industrialisation, environments have been polluted and lives have been affected.
In this design, similar to the extinction of the dinosaurs, the Age of Turtles is ended by the industrialised unknown objects crashing to earth. Inside the turtle, there is an abandoned factory, which most likely has caused the death of the turtle. In the foreground, there are objects suggesting the existence or the previous existence of other animals and human beings.
This design is an imaginative prediction of the possible future if we kept polluting the environment. And hopefully, more attention of protecting the environment and nature will arise.
More about the artists:
Shan Jiang was born in Shanghai in 1979. He completed an MA at Edinburgh College of Art in 2004 and worked for ILoveDust as Lead Designer from 2005–12. He went on to become the third partner at the design company Shotopop, in London, where he has worked for numerous high profile clients including Nordstrom, Nike, Folio Society, Johnnie Walker and many more.
Ying Wu graduated with a Bachelor honours degree in textile design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2010, and a Masters degree in textile print from Royal College of Art (2012). She won the pattern prize from Texprint 2012 and Timney Pattern Award in the same year. She has collaborated with brands including Sportmax, Habitat, Diesel, Kappa, De Le Cuona, Waddesdon Manner and many others. She was also employed as a print designer for fashion brands like Alexander McQueen (2014-1015) and H&M (2012-2014).
Shan and Ying’s works have been exhibited in many galleries in Europe and Asia, including Saatchi Gallery, Selfridges London and Art Projects Gallery Hong Kong.
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