Meet Donson Chan, a young designer and fresh grad from The Glasgow School of Art. During the graduation show earlier this month, Donson presented his final year project Public Bask, a clothing line that studies the material culture of basking.
“After a recent trip to the United Kingdom, I gained a new dimension to my understanding of sun worship. I used to think that the word ‘sunbathing’ explains modern sun worship and would suffice. The scene at Kelvingrove Park, the massive crowd on the lawn and the billowing smoke has changed my perception of this subject. If sunbathing describes only people who are there for a tan, what would be the word used to portray people who are there for a barbecue, gathering or a Frisbee session? These people came to the park and parked themselves on the lawn genuinely for the sun and not the tan.”
Donson adopted an ontological approach to look at the relationship between people and basking, as well as its history and relationship to the built environment. “It is divided into three sections – past, present and future. PAST discusses the rise of basking – basking being translated from the sunbathing trend led by Chanel, presents the theory of conspicuous leisure. PRESENT examines basking in the 21st century – basking being driven by the accelerating pace of life and intensive work life, and ultimately expressing one’s desire to take time off work to enjoy life. FUTURE explores the concept of basking in relation to the future. Basking could be an expression rather than a physical form.”