If you've ever gone to a Mark Cheung fashion show, you might think that he's one of those typically ostentatious designers. Well, this is both true and untrue. Cheung certainly loves to reveal a new line, but is also a famous"hermit", who goes to great lengths to maintain a low profile. Over the past few years, frequent travel has only contributed to this isolation. But no matter how far from his Beijing studio, Mark Cheung will always be living in a fashion dream.
November 14th, 2006: Mark Cheung showed his Tibet-inspired collection for Beijing Fashion Week. With hypnotic music in the background, models walked the runway as if in a trance.
Earlier in the year, the designer made a fashion pilgrimage to Tibet. The result was, if not a thousand, dozens of beaded Buddhas glistening on the stage.
By accepting an invitation to a Mark Cheung show, you agree to be taken on a journey, to the heart of the Orient.
Fashion designer Mark Cheung said, “My plan has been to take ten years, and create a series which reflects the culture of the East - its aesthetics and emotions."
On the eastern edge of Beijing lies a small artists' colony known as "Da-Shan-Zi". Sandwiched between the galleries and studios is Mark Cheung's design loft. Inside, unpainted walls and exposed pipes contrast sharply with the clothes, most of which have been worn by top models down the runway. Silently, they form the mini-universe of this designer, who at heart is also a painter.
In fact, Cheung creates a new canvass each time he returns from a journey. Bands of color are heaped upon each other. A Mark Cheung painting is not about an image, it’s about an impression.
And that impression is re-created for the runway. A Mark Cheung show invariably tells a story, one he has absorbed along the road. Each journey he makes is filled with serendipity. Through his creations, Cheung intends to show not just beauty, but the ecstasy of encountering it.
Mark Cheung said, "Around July each year, I take a trip, alone. At travel time, I don't have a care in the world. Every day I come up with two designs, drawing inspiration from the scenes that touch me most."