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Home » Go See – London: Acclaimed fashion designer Hussein Chalayan crosses over into visual art at the Lisson Gallery through October 2nd, 2010

Go See – London: Acclaimed fashion designer Hussein Chalayan crosses over into visual art at the Lisson Gallery through October 2nd, 2010

September 6th, 2010


I am Sad Leyla by Hussein Chalayan, via Lisson Gallery

My approach has always been interdisciplinary; the new work is an extension of this. There is a certain freedom to working in an art context that has allowed me to further explore the ideas that underpin my work.

-Hussein Chalayan

Currently on view at the Lisson Gallery in London is I am Sad Leyla (Üzgünüm Leyla) an exhibition presenting an installation and a film piece by Turkish fashion designer Hussein Chalayan. The designer filmed the Turkish Pop Star Sertab Erener performing the classical Turkish song “I am Sad Leyla” with the accompaniment of an Ottoman orchestra. Visitors will find a life-size sculpture of Erener dressed in Chalayan’s updated version of a traditional Turkish costume upon entering the gallery and they will hear the sound of her voice from the film of her singing playing in the next room.

More text and images after the jump…




I am Sad Leyla by Hussein Chalayan, via Lisson Gallery

In these works Chalayan centers his artistic exploration on the notion of music as a cultural form. He in turn creates what he calls a “disembodied experience.” Music is explored in its cultural and artistic contexts; diverse instruments are juxtaposed with Persian poetry and Greek Orthodox chant while Turkish heritage is coupled with modern pop culture.


I am Sad Leyla by Hussein Chalayan,via Lisson Gallery

Both works examine the notion of what constitutes an art object and a garment while also incorporating the designer’s usual performative and cultural elements. As found in much of Chalayan’s work, these new pieces draw of themes from the fields of art, anthropology, music and design to conclude in a powerful aesthetic which probes the very interconnectedness of art and fashion.

Hussein Chalayan via Vogue

The exhibition emerged after a long exchange between Chalayan and Grey Hilty, the Curatorial Director of London’s Lisson Gallery. For Hilty, “Hussein Chalayan is rightly celebrated not just for his fashion but as one of London’s leading innovators in visual culture. His sensitive play with the history and poetic potential of wide-ranging cultural forms make him a natural fit for the Lisson’s programme of exhibition.”

Hussein Chalayan (b.1970) is a widely respected British/ Turkish Cypriot fashion designer known for his stunning avant-garde designs. He is the recipient of the Designer of the Year Awards in 1999 and 2000.  He represented Turkey in the Venice Biennale in 2005 and also presented a survey of his work at London’s Design Museum in 2009 which then toured to the Museum of Contemporary of Art in Tokyo and is now on view at Istanbul Modern.

Related Links:
Hussein Chalayan: I am Sad Leyla [Lisson Gallery]
Hussein Chalayan at Lisson Gallery [T Magazine]
Hussein Chalayan at Lisson Gallery [Hussein Chalayan]
Art of the Unwearable: Can Fashion Designer Hussein Chalayan Conquer the Art World [The Independent]
Hussein’s Art [Vogue]
Hussein Chalayan’s East-West Fashion [FT]
Fashion Rebel Hussein Chalayan to Get London Gallery Show [Artinfo]

-R.A. Proctor

One Response to “Go See – London: Acclaimed fashion designer Hussein Chalayan crosses over into visual art at the Lisson Gallery through October 2nd, 2010”

  1. “I am Sad Leyla” Film by Hussein Chalayan | SLAMXHYPE Says:

    [...] to Art Observed for the [...]

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