Out now, the latest chapter of Saint Laurent’s SELF project sees Wong Kar-Wai draft in Hong Kong-based photographer Wing Shya to direct a new short film titled A Night in Shanghai
Earlier this month, it was announced that Chinese auteur Wong Kar-Wai – whose films, which include In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express and 2046, have seen him deemed one of the world’s best directors – would be collaborating with Saint Laurent on their ongoing SELF project. SELF, now in its fifth iteration, was started by the house’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello with the aim of capturing the house through the eyes of world-renowned creatives. “SELF represents the self-expression and conveys many different facets of the Saint Laurent attitude,” the house say; previous collaborators have included Vanessa Beecroft, Bret Easton Ellis, Daido Moriyama, and Gaspar Noé.
For this latest chapter, which is out now following its premiere at Yuz Museum in Shanghai’s art district this weekend, Kar-Wai – who is the project’s ‘curator’ – drafted in Hong Kong-based photographer Wing Shya to direct the short, titled A Night in Shanghai (the city is particularly resonant for Kar-Wai, who was born there). Shot in Shya’s dream-like style, it follows Chinese model Ju Xiaowen as she embarks on a quest for identity, “looking for who she is and moved by the desire to express herself,” as the house describes. “A Night in Shanghai is a story about the introspective research of our-self... Ju Xiaowen is walking on the wire, trying to find the balance in real life by comparing the past and the present, sharply contrasting.”
“Saint Laurent is unique, distinctive among high fashion,” says Kar-Wai. “Anthony loves art and his designs worn gorgeously, and stays independent. Saint Laurent is always about ‘breaking the balance’ in this era, like no one else, the brand is brave in expressing itself.” As such, A Night in Shanghai continues Vaccarello’s desire to collaborate with the artists he admires the most in the world. “Wong Kar Wai envisions individual feelings; his art is like a vivid dream projected into real life, which emphasises the contrast between the fragile aspect of humanity and reality,” the designer says. “It was a very instinctive process based on mutual respect and admiration, in the movie you can find and feel the Saint Laurent fantasy taking shape as natural consequence.”
Watch the full film below.