Makers of Melbourne

Welcome to Makers Of Melbourne – the ‘go to’ guide for our technically integrated age.

Makers Of Melbourne has been created to consume and assimilate Melbourne culture. We're male focussed, but not male specific, sorting through the dross to weed out the creative stars, standout events and stylish folk that make this city unique. 

MOM aims to embrace all facets of what makes this city a creative hub. Our aim is to inform without condescending – to keep you abreast of what’s going on without regurgitating Press Releases & to seek out this city’s sub cultures to give our readers the inside scoop on what’s REALLY happening with the people who make Melbourne Melbourne.

Filtering by Tag: Exhibition

The Event: ACMI Presents Yang Fudong, Filmscapes

Launching this week at ACMI, China Up Close is a fascinating look at one of our most polarising neighbours. 

The exhibition - ACMI’s first “Up Close” event - promises to explore this endlessly intriguing society through a thoughtfully curated program of art, film, digital programs, talks and live events.

Chinese screen culture is exploding in the world’s fastest growing economy today. This rapid ascent has occurred in a country with more than 20 per cent of the world’s population, making China the second largest international economy behind the United States. New opportunities for international collaboration and market penetration are now emerging, at the same time that Chinese society is undergoing a dramatic transformation and film audiences are growing.

At the nucleus of China Up Close is an exhibition profiling the elaborate films and film installations of celebrated Shanghai-based artist Yang Fudong. Titled Yang Fudong: Filmscapes. This premiere exhibition boasts three seminal works: Ye Jiang/The Nightman Cometh (2011), The Fifth Night (2010) and East of Que Village (2007) and also features a brand new work co-commissioned by ACMI and the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, titled New Women II (2014).

Yang Fudong

Yang Fudong

Born in Beijing and currently based in Shanghai, Yang Fudong trained as a painter before emerging onto the international arts scene in the early 1990s when he began working with multi-channel video installations, single-channel films and photography. Today, Yang Fudong is lauded for introducing multi-screen Chinese film installations to the West.

Drawing on Asian and Western cinema (particularly film noir and the French avant-garde), Yang Fudong’s dramatic and highly stylised film installations are rooted in the traditions of Chinese literature, philosophy and art. ACMI curator Ulanda Blair states that Fudong’s work appealed to the gallery, “not only because he’s working with the moving image; his work is also very reflective, illustrating the way that film makers can tell stories and manipulate our emotions. His work looks at the mechanisms of cinema and deconstructs those mechanisms."

The Nightman Cometh (2011)

The Nightman Cometh (2011)

Fudong’s extraordinary resume bares a critical relationship with cinema. His first film, An Estranged Paradise, premiered at the 2002 Documenta, Germany’s renowned festival of contemporary art, to rave reviews. Paradise uses a classic montage technique to track the romantic adventures and urban wanderings of a hypochondriac hero. The film was completed in 1997, thanks to funding from a patron who was willing to take a chance on a director barely out of art school and additional financing from Documenta.

It was followed by Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest, whose five installments were completed between 2003 and 2007, premiering at two Venice Biennales. Riffing on an ancient legend about seven young culturati who retreat into a sylvan life of drinking and conversation, Fudong’s Bamboo Forest follows the peregrinations of five men and two women as they linger among classic Chinese landscapes, farmers’ fields and modern construction sites.

Blair: “He [Fudong] attended art school in Hangzhou and actually studied oil painting. It’s amazing when you think that his first film, and he didn’t even study film making, for that film to premier at one of the biggest and most prestigious art events in the world is extraordinary.” 

The Nightman Cometh (2011)

The Nightman Cometh (2011)

It’s interesting to note that growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution and the more recent socialist market system meant that Fudong had limited access to Western cinema. The artist has previously spoken of preconceived notions formed through studying the films of Fellini, his imagination influencing his work even before he had opportunity to watch the movies he’d read about at art school.

Blair: “There’s a lot of influences from Western art house cinema, but he’s also been influenced by film noir and Chinese films from the 1920s and 1930s, a time when Shanghai in particular was strongly influenced by the West.”

 With his creative output very much grounded in traditional Chinese culture, Fudong is a rarity amongst his contemporaries, many of whom are now based abroad. It’s obvious that the artist still carries a deep appreciation and respect for his homeland, a theme often reflected in his work.

“We hear a lot about Australia’s relationship with China in the media from a political and economic viewpoint but building our cultural capacities are equally as important.” states Blair, “Chinese art has been incredibly popular on the international arts scene for some years now. But in Australia and more specifically Melbourne, we still haven’t really seen a lot of contemporary art from the region. We have a huge Chinese community here and it’s really important to have a Chinese artist shown. Having said that, we [ACMI] would only work with the best and I truly believe that Yang Fudong is one of the most extraordinary artists working today.”   

New Women II (2014)

New Women II (2014)

Yang Fudong: Filmscapes will exhibit from Thursday 4 December 2014.
Entry is free.

Yang Fudong is represented by ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai, and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.


The Event: Mambo, 30 years of shelf-indulgence at the Ian Potter Centre

One of Australia’s most irreverent and outspoken brands - Mambo - has just celebrated its 30th anniversary. With its idiosyncratic Australian sense of humour and perverse national pride, Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence celebrates this iconic clothing label in a retrospective exhibition featuring the largest collection of Mambo works ever assembled at NGV Australia from 6th December 2014 to 22nd February 2015, and a milestone publication of the same name.

Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence presents all the ground-breaking ideas, subversive politics and off-the-wall larrikinism that have made it one of Australia's most memorable brands. The exhibition includes original artworks, never-before-seen developmental work and a retrospective of the most-loved pieces of apparel produced during its controversial history, including its iconic graphic T-shirts.

Mambo: 30 Years of Shelf-Indulgence artwork by Reg Mombassa

Mambo: 30 Years of Shelf-Indulgence artwork by Reg Mombassa

From artist Richard Allan’s infamous dog print to Reg Mombassa’s iconic ‘Australian Jesus’ Hawaiian shirt, Mambo tackled racism, jingoism and commercialism – and even poked fun at the very subculture they were supposedly targeting with their clothing and accessories. 

 Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence presents the ideas and idiosyncrasies that have come to characterise this unconventional brand,” says NGV Director Tony Ellwood. “It looks at some of the many artists who have made Mambo a national household name: from the legendary Reg Mombassa, with his cheeky depictions of an Aussie Messiah, to Maria Kozic’s strangely haunting Goddesses and Richard Allen’s enduring canine – the famous farting dog – which has formed the Mambo logo for more than twenty years."

Ellwood: “The exhibition acknowledges the singular place Mambo holds in this country as a purveyor of fashion, philosophy, art and design.”

Established in 1984 by founder Dare Jennings, Mambo built its foundations on an irreverent combination of art, humour, music and surf. Pitched squarely at the average Australian, under the art direction of Wayne Golding, the label is credited with introducing art and humour to the previously logo-driven and humour-challenged surf wear industry.

Mambo Etymology artwork by Reg Mombassa

Mambo Etymology artwork by Reg Mombassa

Self-described as the ‘bastard children of surf culture’, Mambo gave rise to one of the most recognisable, authentic, vernacular, politically incorrect yet intensely political brands to rise out of the excesses of 1980s Australia. Mambo’s social commentary and political astuteness is embodied by every one of the 250 artists that have worked for the label over the past three decades.

The brand’s artistic reputation and voice was solidified in 1993, when Mambo was invited by the Art Gallery of New South Wales to exhibit alongside an international collection of surrealist art in the show, Surrealism by Night.  In 2000, the label reached new international heights when it was selected to design the Australian athletes’ uniforms for the Sydney Olympic Games.

Guest curated by Eddie Zammit in collaboration with Mambo’s original art director, Wayne Golding, and current owner Angus Kingsmill, the exhibition and publication showcase some of the finest elements of Mambo’s creative and very distinctive identity. Zammit is also the publisher of T-world magazine, the world’s only T-shirt journal documenting graphics from the past and present.

Zammit: “Here’s a homegrown brand that cares about art. When it comes to Australian brands, no one comes close to the creative energy of Mambo. The exhibition will showcase the enormous 30 year contribution of this icon.”

Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square in the NGV Studio from 6 Dec 2014 – 22 Feb 2015.

Entry is free.

The Event: Exhibition opening of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

This week, Jean Paul Gaultier’s childhood teddy arrived in Melbourne. The fashion designer’s first muse is one of the most touching and personal displays in the blockbusting exhibition ‘Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk’, which opened at the National Gallery of Victoria on Friday.

The show’s curator, Thierry-Maxime Loriot from Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts, hosted the media preview for the exhibition on Thursday morning and Makers of Melbourne were invited along to listen to Jean Paul talk about his career and inspirations, before getting a sneak peak at the multi faceted fashion retrospective.


As an only child raised in suburban Paris, Gaultier asked his parents for a doll, but feeling as though Barbie was inappropriate for a boy in the 1950s, his mother and father instead gave him the soft animal he called “Nana.” 

Now tucked away safely in a glass display case, the ursine toy has been noticeably poked, prodded and coloured in. Her most obvious improvements, a customized cone bra, formed from paper and most certainly the prototype for one of Jean Paul’s most iconic creations, Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition tour cone bra and corset, which was lovingly designed as a playful wink to his grandmother’s lingerie collection.


Once labeled the ‘enfant terrible’ of French fashion, it’s this witty irreverence that has become the designer’s trademark. Madonna’s corset – which sold for $52,000 in 2012 – also features in this stunning exhibition, along with pieces designed for Naomi Campbell, Beyonce, Kate Moss and one of Gaultier’s more recent muses, Melbourne born transgender supermodel Andreja Pejic, who made a surprise appearance on stage at the media preview.

Finding beauty in human diversity, Gaultier has championed the use of models of all ages, body types, ethnicity and gender on his catwalk throughout his career. “I was always shy, I always noticed difference. I always wanted to show that there’s more than one type of beauty.”

Thierry-Maxime Loriot: “There is a very strong social message in the work of Jean Paul. It was important for me to stage this exhibition because he really brought non-models onto the catwalk. It was always important for him to show different types of beauty, to show people different body shapes, different colours, different genders.”


Visitors have a rare opportunity to admire both Gaultier’s prêt a porter and couture work spanning his 38 year career, including a selection from his most recent (and final) ready to wear collection, staged in Paris just last month.

Gaultier: “You know, I am 62 years old. So, I am a dinosaur. I started working in couture at the age of 18 with Pierre Cardin, I have seen that work and a world that doesn’t exist anymore - The couture way. I have been in this business for 38 years and things have changed, now there is so much marketing, and when I think about it, I don’t have the freedom that I always had, so I think it’s better to quit ready to wear and to concentrate on couture, where I still have that sense of freedom.”

The Melbourne leg of Gaultier’s exhibition has been expanded from its previous international incarnations to include pieces from a crop of home grown muses – Oscar gowns for Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett and tour costumes for Kylie Minogue sit alongside design sketches, iconic fashion images and Gaultier designed movie costumes from films including ‘The 5th Element’.

 Gaultier: “It [the exhibition] was a great opportunity for me to present my work, what I am doing. I must say that I love it, almost as much as I loved to create it. At the time that the team came to me and asked to make an exhibition, for me it was not good, it was like something for the dead people, like when I was little I would go to the museum and the clothes that I was seeing were from the time of Queen Victoria. But now I say, OK if this is my exhibition then I will happily be dead.”

The Event: 'David Bowie Is' Exhibition Announcement at ACMI

Bowie fans Sean & Maddy at the announcement of the ACMI ‘David Bowie Is…’ exhibition 

Bowie fans Sean & Maddy at the announcement of the ACMI ‘David Bowie Is…’ exhibition 

He was incomparable as Ziggy Stardust and unforgettable as The Thin White Duke. Now the man behind those two iconic musical identities will have his persona explored with David Bowie is, an exhibition curated by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and coming to Melbourne’s the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) as part of the 2015 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces program.

It’s a coup for Melbourne, the exhibition having made its debut in London in 2013 before beginning a global tour that has so far taken in Toronto, Berlin, Chicago and – the only other Southern Hemisphere city to rate a mention – Sao Paulo.

David Bowie, 1973. Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita

David Bowie, 1973. Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita

The multimedia exhibit pulls together priceless pieces of the artist’s luminous history, from Ziggy Stardust body suits and the Union Jack waist coast designed by Bowie and Alexander McQueen, to never-before-seen personal items including storyboards and hand written set lists, along with Bowie’s own sketches, musical scores and diary entries.

For V&A curators, Victoria Broakes and Geoffrey Marsh, the exhibit is as much an opportunity to consider identity as it is a chance to get a grip on the “real” David Bowie.

Victoria Broakes: “David Bowie is poses the question, ‘what is David Bowie?’, and our approach to the exhibition has been to leave that question open because it invites consideration, not only that we all have different identities, but also that he means different things to different people.”

Along with the main exhibition, ACMI will host a series of events, late-night programs, talks, film screenings and performances to celebrate and put to show the 50-year career of an artist like no other.

The ‘Starman’ costume from David Bowie’s appearance on ‘Top of the Pops’ in 1972 on display at the V&A Museum in London where the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition was originally curated.

The ‘Starman’ costume from David Bowie’s appearance on ‘Top of the Pops’ in 1972 on display at the V&A Museum in London where the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition was originally curated.

'David Bowie Is' opens July 16, 2015. Tickets go on sale in November. Registration for pre ticket sales is accessible HERE 

The Event: NGV Announce The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

He has dressed some of Australia’s most famous women in some of the fashion world’s most outrageous looks and now the designs of Jean-Paul Gaultier are coming to Melbourne in an elaborate showcase of his work on exhibit at the NGV from October: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.

The exhibit will feature more than 140 of his creations, including never before seen costumes worn by Madonna and Beyonce alongside pieces lent by Kylie Minogue for viewing only by the Melbourne audience.

On the announcement of the exhibition, Makers of Melbourne spoke to curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot.

Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibition curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot at the NGV media launch 

Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibition curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot at the NGV media launch 

The exhibition has so far shown in Montreal, Spain and New York, and will be visiting Paris after it comes to Melbourne – what brought his work here to Melbourne?

It’s really the fact that the museum is fantastic and the programming and the team at the NGV is very avant-garde. The space is amazing and it’s nice to share with a country that has the same open vision.

Tell us a little about the scale of the exhibition.

It’s been five years. I started work on the archives in 2009 and the exhibition itself has been travelling since 2011. To bring it together took two years of going through his archives which was very exciting but also terrifying – we had to choose from thousands of pieces and pick only the 140 or so that are on exhibit. But it’s been a unique opportunity: you would see his dresses in magazines and movies and then to see them in front of you… It’s like viewing a Picasso painting in a book and then experiencing it as you would in a gallery space.

'Metamorphose Gown' worn by Cate Blanchett to the Golden Globes 2005

'Metamorphose Gown' worn by Cate Blanchett to the Golden Globes 2005

Can you pick out any special pieces that speak to you?

There are so many dresses and pieces that Gaultier created that are so fantastic when you look at the craftsmanship – incredible couture pieces that are beaded and embroidered – but there were certain pieces I was dying to exhibit that we have held on to until we came to Melbourne: the dress Nicole Kidman collected her Oscar in for The Hours – the same with Kylie Minogue’s costumes. I knew we were coming to Australia so I kept them as a surprise.

What was Jean Paul like to work with?

In one word? Fantastic. What you see in pictures – that he is always smiling and happy and full of ideas – is really what he is. What you see is what you get: there are no surprises with him. He is a fantastic storyteller with so many incredible tales to tell of the relationships and inspiration behind each of his collaborations

Gaultier dresses on loan from Kylie Minogue

Gaultier dresses on loan from Kylie Minogue

Will there ever be another Gaultier exhibition such as this?

I think it is something that can only be done once because even at first he never wanted to do an exhibition of his work. The form he works with is the human body so he prefers to see his work on real humans rather than mannequins. He believes normally exhibitions in museums are for dead artists, not living designers. Certainly I consider Jean Paul an artist, even if he considers himself an artisan.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk will be on show at the NGV from October 17, 2014, until February 8, 2015.

Jean Paul Gaultier 2014© 2014, Stéphane Sednaoui. All rights reserved

Jean Paul Gaultier 2014© 2014, Stéphane Sednaoui. All rights reserved

Andrej Pejić 2013 - Confession of a Child of the Century collection Jean Paul Gaultier Haute couture, autumn- winter 2012-13 © Alix Malka

Andrej Pejić 2013 - Confession of a Child of the Century collection Jean Paul Gaultier Haute couture, autumn- winter 2012-13 © Alix Malka


Shoemakers Exhibition Launch

The street style blog has been accepted into the cultural program for this year's L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, so come down & have a beer on us at St Ali cafe this coming Friday evening, the 8th March 2013 (6-9pm) to launch our photographic exhibition, especially if you're one of the guys we've chased down on the street this year for a photo.
RSVP's are essential, but guests are welcome, so email back with numbers to
LOCATION: St Ali - 12-18 Yarra Pl  South Melbourne VIC 3205
DATE: Friday 8th March 2013
TIME: Any time between 6-9pm
We look forward to seeing you there!