Kai Zhan is a recent Royal College of Art menswear graduate, who explores the similarities between post-humanism and Buddhism through Asian tribalism while and in doing so, establishing an Eastern aesthetic in a Western context. Eastern silhouettes and intricate embroideries are fused with functional and technically detailed garments.
His collection was inspired by Donna Haraway’s ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’, which sheds a light on the breakdown of boundaries between physical and non-physical, allowing the cyborg-myth to be born. Kai saw striking parallels between the post-humanist theory and Buddhism. Buddhists believe that we have multiple bodies, and we could leave our physical body behind through meditation, and in doing so breaking the frontier between physical and non-physical.
Kai’s work is concealed encapsulates a non-narrative continuity. When facing the designs directly, we can always find humanism hidden under their cold appearance. The similarity between post-humanism and Buddhism is the starting point, which constructs the general aesthetic of this collection – Asian tribalism and technical futurism. His works also indirectly express religion, bondage, rebellion, human rights and the future.