Kairos is a 3D fashion collection and digital runway that revolves around the theme of death. The project aims to create an interactive and immersive fashion experience that prompts contemplation on human dignity and the fleeting nature of life, while simultaneously eliciting feelings of comfort and serenity. This is accomplished through the utilization of various tools such as CLO3D, Marvelous Designer, TouchDesigner, hand motion tracking, and a projection-mapped art installation. These elements allow the audience to control and generate various textures through hand motions, ultimately leading to the exploration of the concept of death. By introducing the theme of death in a dynamic and playful ambiance, the project endeavors to encourage viewers to acknowledge the proximity of life and death and to gain a deeper appreciation of the omnipresence of death.
Death is a part of life, and while it may be uncomfortable, we must learn to accept and reflect on it. As a creative designer, I believe it is my responsibility to contribute to this conversation by designing creative shroud collections. The tragic crowd crush that occurred on Halloween weekend in Itaewon, Seoul, and claimed the lives of 156 young people in 2022 significantly influenced my project’s concept development regarding sudden death in the middle of a joyous event.
Throughout my work, I am inspired by the phrase from the poem Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas, which states, “Time held me green and dying.” Time can celebrate our youth and life but also cause us to fade away. This phrase brings a reflection on the transient nature of life and the inevitability of mortality.
Kairos, which means the sublime moment in Greek, is a concept that contrasts with chronos, which refers to measured time. With my project, I aim to provide the audience with an awakening kairos moment.
My project is distinctive in many ways, as it consists of two contrasting parts. One part is an exciting digital runway that combines 3D fashion design and interactive media art using hand motion tracking. The audience can use hand motions to generate and control creative textures on the 3D garments, which is not possible on a traditional runway. This creates an immersive fashion experience for the audience.
In the other part of the project, the audience encounters death and funeral scenes amidst this exciting and playful experience. They realize that they are co-designing death dresses with me, which is a drastic change from the joyful and playful atmosphere of the runway.
This project is significant because it invites people to experience both the happiness of life and the solemnity of death. In a culture that tends to avoid talking about death, this project will provide a kairos moment to the audience, allowing them to reflect on the importance of life and the inevitability of death.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the victims of the tragic Itaewon Crush.