Gagandeep Singh Sidhu: Study The Greats, Adapt Them To Suit Today’s Context

To paraphrase George Orwell, if there's hope for the future, it probably lies with the next generation. Cynics may dismiss this as the rosy idealism of youth but hey, that can invigorate the imagination like nothing else. We spotlight seven up-and-coming Singapore students from different artistic disciplines whose works make us dream once more.

Here we talk to Gagandeep Singh Sindu, a 25-year-old art director and stylist who is currently majoring in Fashion Media and Industries at Lasalle College of the Arts.

Photo courtesy of Wee Khim

Who or what inspires and informs your works?

I generally go back to certain people as sources of inspiration. Namely, designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen and image makers like Nick Knight, who plays a lot with technology, and Tim Walker with his surreal approach to themes. I’m currently exploring menswear quite a bit and younger designers like Craig Green and Alejandro Gomez Palomo of Palomo Spain allow me to take chances on finding different ways to create campaign visuals as well as pushing the boundary that menswear used to be assigned to.

A school project, Flux, is meant to be a mirror and mock the upper crust of society using traditional “signifiers” such as money clips and opera glasses.

What would you say are common themes in your works?

Wherever the brief takes me. I’ve explored themes surrounding prostitution in Singapore, the idea of transmigration, a shoot for National University of Singapore’s latest pageant, imagining the possible queer relationships during the Elizabethan era and most recently, creating a fictional brand that mocked the rich while presenting an accessories collection derived from sanitation in Singapore in the 1960s.

What materials, mediums and techniques are typically used in your works?

Planning shoots generally takes about a month, depending on the timeline and/or how deep I have to explore the general theme. Whether it is styling or imagining a set for a specific shoot, I enjoy a combination a taking two extremes on combining them to create something. Set designs are usually made using anything and everything from objects found at dumpsters, stapling or sewing fabrics together to coating styrofoams with various materials to create forms.

A joint school project he co-art directed,To Build A Home, paid homage to the design sensibilities of Bauhaus, the influential early 20th-century art and design movement.

What would you like people to know about your work?

I think its always important to pay homage to the greats; those who have shaped fashion in their own sensibilities, and to borrow from their ideologies to form an identity fitting of today’s time and I suppose it is more of a give and take, and I want those who view my body of work to understand the roots of where it is ultimately inspired by.

What is the biggest challenge facing your field?

The rate that content is seeded out currently has almost made the work that goes into it frivolous. In response to the short attention span of the current younger generation, brands like Marine Serre, a brand focusing on clothes of the future, have allowed consumers a peek into the process of how clothes are regenerated in their factories and presented on the runway.

How do you think you can contribute to your field?

The answer to this question lies in the future, when I have had the opportunity to undertake “real world” projects myself. As of now, I’m just focused on responding to briefs and to expand my mind to all art forms (i.e performance art, visual arts) and allow these to influence my work and mould it into an object that is a merger of these things.

Any upcoming projects you'd like to share?

We’re currently working an extended edition of the MOVEMENT magazine, a publication created in collaboration with Lasalle and the Fashion Institute and Technology (FIT) in New York which includes works from students of both schools centered by the Minimalism and Maximalism movements.

This article first appeared in the March 2020 print issue of FEMALE. 

This article is originally published on Female Singapore.

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