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Madame Song:
Pioneering Art and Fashion in China

Madame Song:
Pioneering Art and Fashion in China

29 Jul 2023
Location: West Gallery

Song Huai-Kuei (1937–2006), widely known during her lifetime as Madame Song, was a legend in the spheres of Chinese art, film, music, and fashion during the 1980s and 1990s. With her husband, Bulgarian fibre artist Maryn Varbanov (1932–1989), Song helped foster a forward-looking creative scene and cultivated a modern, international lifestyle in China at a time when the country was largely isolated from the rest of the world for much of the Cold War.

This upcoming Special Exhibition brings to light Madame Song’s fascinating multiple identities and professional pursuits. It will chronicle her life and practice from the 1950s to the early 2000s and unveil Song’s thus-far overlooked and underestimated influence on China's transformation into the cosmopolitan and culturally diverse society it is today.

Image at top: Fashion shoot at the Forbidden City with Madame Song and a group of Chinese models trained by her, 1980s. Garments: Pierre Cardin archives. Photo: © Yonfan