With Anvita Goenka.
This installation was a response to the theme “Laws of the Market” -an inquiry with Students of Weisensee Kunsthchscule, Berlin and my college, Srishti School of Art Design and Technology Bangalore.
The Installation is a Jacket made with tags of luxury and mid range Brands found in the fakes market of Bangalore. This wearable installation is a comment on accessibility and purchasing power. It addresses the thought that, Expensive Branded goods may ostracize a large section of the society but; accessibility to the idea of the ‘Branded’ fulfills Aspirations of the masses.
I am personally attracted to the ‘Slow movement’, that I believe is a conscious, more sustainable approach to life and takes into account social and environmental impact. However, the world of mass-produced goods is inevitable and deeply penetrated into our daily lives.
India as we know, is the hub of mass production after China. The Rejects market is huge in various parts of the country. At the same time it is easy access to counterfeits from China. What exactly are these shopping areas ?
The ‘Chindi’ and ‘Katran’ market (Waste market) : Fabric waste from factories producing garments for brands, has its own special market. The waste is sold directly to small scale buyers who sell it for a reasonable per Kg rate or are re-stitched and recycled to make smaller products for home use.
Export surplus market: ‘Export surplus’ refers to clothes that are manufactured in India for Western companies and designed by them, but are rejected due to many reasons like manufacturing defects, poor quality, late for export or are just extras. These clothes then channel into the local markets at low prices.
Fakes Market: The fake-brand markets sell products under copied brand labels that look exactly the same as original or have a similar sounding name with the same logo and are inexpensive. These are illegal but easily available in the market do not aim at convincing the buyer about their authenticity, but giving them the desired feeling of ‘modern’ and ‘prestige’.
We asked people at the Rejects and Counterfeit market what made them buy fakes? The response was mostly that ‘ít is a Foreign Brand for a low cost and looks almost the same’. The insignia on the clothes and accessories hold great power and prestige, much more than the quality of the product.These are definitely ‘flaunt-able’compared to locally made originals!
But who defines these models of Aspiration? Isn’t it the elite markets that prototype the Idea of style and prestige that trickles down into the mass markets?