-by Caroline Mason
Dosa x We Kiss x TIINA the STORE is an immersive experience into the world of designer Christina Kim. Focusing on Kim’s favorite color, pink, the installation features a range of one of a kind pieces made with textiles Kim has collected over the years from different countries and craftsmen.
Christina Kim founded dosa with her mother after relocating to America from their native Seoul in 1984. One of the many features that sets dosa apart from other designers is Kim’s devotion to sustainability and craftsmanship. Kim is committed to working with local craftsmen from around the world and learning the traditional techniques for creating textiles, weaves, and dyes for her fabrics. She often travels to source materials in order to assure that dosa has the highest quality and most sustainable textiles to work with.
One of the most intricate processes used in the installation is the Jamdani technique, which is a method of weaving fabrics out of traditional sari cloth from West Bengal woven in a pit loom. The pattern of the design, drawn on paper, is pinned beneath the warp threads and as the weaving proceeds the motifs are worked in, like embroidery. As the weft thread approaches the motif, the weaver takes up one of a set of bamboo needles, each of which is wrapped in different color yarn needed for the pattern of the motif. As every weft thread passes through the warp, the weaver sews down the intersected portion of the pattern with one of the set of the needles until the pattern is complete. Once the weaver established the rhythm they usually disregard the pattern and are free to improvise. The installation will feature a number of beautiful dresses and tops made through this intensive process.
Dosa is also known for their focus of reducing waste. One way that Kim does this is by repurposing unused fabrics into new pieces such as decorative garlands and pillows. Dosa has partnered with Liberty Fabrics to use their headers (fabric swatches) as added details to many of their sweaters and bags. These swatches add a complexity to each garment that make each one truly one-of-a kind. Similarly, many of the dresses featured in the installation are truly original through their unique dying process. Kim also contributed a special table in the center of the room that is collaged with pink photos from her work. The photos feature images of her process of researching and developing textiles, the dying process, pink fabrics, and other installations. The table has Sam Schonzeit’s vibrant artwork as a backdrop.
For the ‘We Kiss’ installation at TIINA the STORE, Christina Kim collaborated with artist Kathy Klein. Klein, who is based in Arizona, is known for her public art piece ‘We kiss’ which aims at promoting love, liberty, equality and creating deep changes in the systems that no longer serve a greater vision in life. The result is a beautiful array of mandalas made from every shade of lipstick, each one radiating with positive intention. In addition to her personal works, the We Kiss project asked participants to put on lipstick, consider what they kiss for and add their imprint to the movement. The collected kisses will be put together to create a large scale artwork to be sold in support of local causes.