SIGNED magazine #29

dimensional geometry by connecting the centre point and the vector of the first dimension. It represents people's views and concepts about the universe, indicating the direction of a graph through the coordinates of the true north. "Quanheng" (balance and steelyard) refers to the size and layout of geometric shapes, which is akin to the musical arrangements of a symphony or the golden ratio of ancient art. Chinese formal attires of different dynasties reflect not only a strict adherence to their cultural connotations, but also the zeitgeist of their time. In his quest to identify the design intent, as well as the connections with historic evolution, Lee realised much is worth learning about the formal wear of the ancient imperial court. This inspired him to revive Chinese formal wear, and his main task was to find out the intent of our ancestors, and to actualise what they could not achieve with modern technologies and materials. Recently, Lee collaborated with Handmade by Royce and recreated a number of classic Chinese formal wear. The collection features cheongsam, magua and majia of Qing dynasty, as well as lanpao of Tang. Employing meticulous research, sophisticated and advanced computing technology, and exquisite tailoring techniques, he wishes to bring out the traditional cultural glamour of Chinese formal wear, which may have been forgotten. At the same time, conversion and improvement are also taking place. The lanpao of Tang, for example, was originally based on shenyi with very specific structural requirements. The form went out of shape because of the way it was passed down. Lee's recreation is not to casually modify the original, but to restore the looks that it was supposed to have. He noted, "Tang fabrics were originally weaved with a diamond pattern, but the same fabric can no longer be made today. I, therefore, switched to western fabrics. As for the cheongsam of Qing dynasty, traditional sesame yarn is used; the black cloth for magua and majia comes from abroad. Quality is my only selection criteria. Besides, I am pursuing changes in designs, as well as structural improvement. Take the collar of our Tang lanpao as an example. The data of its shape is entered into and calculated by the computer to confirm its position and to ensure that it fits snuggly around the neck. The requisite is that you must know the intent of the design and the proportion of the cutting. Further support from computer coding and algorithms will lift it up to another level." Similar to professional mountaineers pursuing to challenge the many peaks around the world, Lee is keen on recreating the base forms of traditional Chinese formal wear. In particular, he would like to recreate those that were never attempted by his predecessors. To prevent tangling with various unreasonable requirements or restraints, Lee has never been open to any cultural sponsorship since they are not easy to conform to. He felt fortunate that he is working at the right time, the right place and with the right people. Time wise, the current internet age has allowed him to conduct adequate research. Geographically, Hong Kong is an Eastmeets-West metropolitan close to the provenance of Chinese formal wear. As for people, he has been in close contact with many scholars and experts who are willing to share their knowledge and wisdom. These have empowered him to work solo, to shoulder on all difficulties, and to go on. Lee said, "At major international events, Japanese and Koreans would appear in full national formal costumes. On the contrary, many Chinese are still wearing western suits. A country's costume is always a symbol of its soft power. When you walk onto the global stage, others are most interested about your ethnic culture. I aspire to create a Chinese formal costume that could connect our past and our future." Herman 早年在美國哥倫比亞大學接受西方 建築和藝術訓練,曾分別在日本、美國和 英國執業建築師,他在數年前放下建築事 業,創立了自己的工作室L'impression du temps ( 時間的印記),以其精通的電腦編碼與運算技術, 從事藝術圖案創作,及後更延伸至服裝、首飾、 布料設計。他又執筆為文,以《禮服的靈魂》為題 寫下一系列文章(文章QR code在17頁),與大家 分享其研究心得。 傳統中華禮服自清末便出現歷史斷層。民國時期 年青知識分子將社會落後歸咎於傳統桎梏,今天 香港雖經歷百年殖民地文化洗禮,仍對西方古典 和現代文明一知半解。所謂文化承傳也要經本地 18 1 1. The Contemporary Lanpao was inspired by the "Circling a square" and "Squaring a circle" diagrams from Zhoubi Suanjing. 「當代襴袍」衍生自《周髀 算經》的「圓方圖」、「方 圓圖」。