Fashion label ZUCZUG has opened a space on Shanghai’s Wulumuqi Lu housing two very different brands – sportswear brand An Ko Rau and fashion/art brand 3ge3 project. Combining art with fashion, it is a curious and eye-catching combination of art gallery and commercial store, with large windows giving a platform to young, vibrant and experimental artists to impact the busy street outside. The aim of the store is to place art within everyday life. Thus far, the space has displayed works by German artist Boris Hoppek, Chinese artist Youada, British artist Kode9 and Japanese artist Tomomi Mizukoshi. We linked up with the store’s manager Fei Fei to talk about 3ge3 project.
When and why did you want to open a space?
We opened in October, 2019. Before that we had a collection already, but it was one of the collections under the ZUCZUG label. We were thinking about trends. More and more people love art and are visiting art exhibitions, so we thought it was the right time for us to explore our business further. Officially, we became an independent brand. Then we wanted to connect people with artists, so we thought it would be great if we could have our own space where we could hold events. So far, we have already held three exhibitions, and for each opening party we have the artist on-site. People can connect with the artist, so it is a very pure connection allowing people to get close to the art.
Why did you guys choose Wulumuqi Lu?
One of our key principles is that we want to bring art into daily life. This street is very busy; people come here to eat and hang out, not really for shopping. This means that the street is very connected to daily life. On the other hand, ZUCZUG has three other stores nearby on Anfu Lu. We want to help bring fashion and beautiful things into people’s lives; to cancel the distance between art and people’s daily lives.
How long has the brand 3ge3 project been in existence?
The collection has already existed for more than eight or nine years. At first it was a collection with ZUCZUG. It was initially called Meishi’er (没事儿), which is a Chinese term that means, ‘It doesn’t matter.’ We were considering using the same name for the brand but had to change it for copyright reasons. The content is still the same, though. Our brand leader has worked with ZUCZUG for eight years, so the brand began around the time that she joined. In the end we decided on a new name. In Taoism, there’s a saying that goes, “After one comes two, after two comes three, after three comes all things.” 3ge3 leads to infinity, embracing endless possibilities.
Tell us about your parent company ZUCZUG.
ZUCZUG is a fashion brand, but is also very good at instigating cultural events. I can’t say that our brand, 3ge3 project, is a fashion brand; we cross over between different categories – like fashion and art and music – exploring different cultural industries.
What artists have you invited to exhibit in Shanghai?
The first artist we invited was a very young graphic artist from Japan called Tomomi Mizukoshi. The exhibition was called Pure Tomato; every piece was designed with a tomato, and it was very popular because it’s very easy to understand. That was the first time we brought her to China; before, people only knew her from Instagram. It was also the first time people could buy her real products and meet the real artist in China.
The second exhibition was called I’m Not Your Average Bimbo, by a German artist living in Barcelona named Boris Hoppek. In 2015, we collaborated with this artist for the first time. Our boss really loves this artist, so we invited him so he could have his first solo exhibition in China. Almost all of the art pieces he brought here sold out. It’s good; we balance it perfectly between art and commerce.
The shop changes appearance quite often, can you talk about the motive behind that?
A lot of people passing by feel that this place is very interesting because on the one hand, the unique art installations immediately catch people’s eyes and stand out as something completely different from the rest of the shops and restaurants on this street, and on the other hand we change our exhibition every one or two months. If we change our exhibitions we need to transform the walls, window displays and props. We continuously give people freshness, and maybe each time we attract different people.
About 80% of people who come into the store happen to be passing by, and maybe they don’t buy anything, but they will want to follow our WeChat and find out what happens next, who will be the next artist. We are not a pop-up store, but our exhibitions are equal to the freshness that pop-ups can give people.
To learn more about 3ge3 project, scan the QR code below:
[Cover image vie 3ge3]