Hussein Chalayan: Manifesto #33

Growing up in Cyprus, my innate curiosity was fuelled by the isolation, which encouraged my desire to explore. Now having spent most of my life here in London, my curiosity is about understanding the dullness of life in general and creating a world where I can propose other ways of looking at the body and its role in culture, consequently creating one that fills the gap between fantasy and reality. In the midst of this, I find that the economic hardship of living in London, running a business and everything that comes with it, is a burden on anyone who is trying to contribute to cultural life. But I have not been so affected by economic demands that I don’t enjoy seeing one person out of a sea of people expressing emotion at the end of a presentation or an opening of an installation. In this light, my contribution to cultural activity is a diligent commitment to merging different disciplines and cultures. If at school you were taught about the relationship of maths to art, the body to music, chemistry to the environment etc, wouldn’t life be much more interesting and motivating…

Originally published in ICON magazine
Issue 404 | 2007

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