MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

MASTERS OF LIGHT

2023.09.22

Text by Guia Ortolani

At MOCA Shanghai, from Sept. 20 to Oct. 9, Swarovski presents its first exhibition “Masters of Light”. In dialogue with last century’s fashion, it is dedicated to the most iconic couture pieces embellished with sparkling crystals of the house, and to the new high jewelry collection “Galaxy,” designed by Global Creative Director Giovanna Engelbert.

Swarovski – Masters of light

From Vienna to Shanghai

 

It is a sparkling journey through time, exploring the evocative world of Swarovski, one of Europe’s historical luxury brands, which started to define itself back in 1895. Revolutionary spirit, creativity and savoir-faire, in continuous dialogue with the world of fashion, film and music. The itinerary features more than 60 outfits designed by the world’s most legendary fashion houses, such as Alexander McQueen, Armani Privé, Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Guo Pei, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Robert Wun, Thierry Mugler, and Vivienne Westwood. An alternation of red carpet looks, theater costumes and iconic outfits worn by global pop culture icons, including Christina Aguilera, Marilyn Monroe, Harry Styles and Rihanna.

In this immersive experience, visitors are taken along a trip through time and across countries, from 19th-century Vienna, where group founder Daniel Swarovski was inspired to build a revolutionary electric crystal-cutting machine, to 21st-century Shanghai and beyond, a global metropolis promoting cutting-edge projects.

 

“We are pleased to design and curate the Masters of Light exhibition in Shanghai. Being cultural players through our artistic creations and collaborations is an essential part of our heritage and values […].”

– Alexis Nasard, Swarovski CEO

For the occasion, Beijing-based artist Tian Xiaolei devised a site-specific installation related to Swarovski’s themes and iconography through the facets of his own work, emphasizing the brand’s connection with contemporary art. The scenic overview is divided into seven Chambers of Wonder: Time Chamber, Masters of Light, Future History, Jewelry Box, Pop Icons, Mathemagical and Diamonds of the Future. In this last room mentioned, the exhibition features showcases another highlight: “Galaxy,” the dazzling new high jewelry collection designed by Global Creative Director Giovanna Engelbert and made with Swarovski Created Diamonds.

 

Swarovski crystals are distinguished by innovative cutting solutions and a rich range of colors (there are currently more than 300,000 variations in hue, cut and effect). These are lab-grown diamonds that have the same characteristics as mined diamonds in terms of composition, hardness, brilliance and focus.

 

“It is very exciting for me to see all these extraordinary pieces brought together in our first brand exhibition, which is a celebration of craftsmanship and savoir-faire in every creative discipline […].”

– Giovanna Engelbert, Creative Director of Swarovski

The curator of this traveling exhibition is Alexander Fury, who has skillfully brought together, interpreted and conveyed Swarovski’s cultural heritage and values.

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