Zhao Bandi Pandas

I go bonkers for anything panda-related so this recent post from Fops and Dandies about Beijing-based artist Zhao Bandi’s panda-themed fashion show immediately caught my eye. Bandi, who also goes by the name ‘Pandaman’ has been known to use stuffed pandas as a medium to express modern Chinese social issues in a satirical manner. The fashion show, which debuted last fall, allowed a new kind of platform for his amusing social commentary.

Over thirty models decorated in outrageous panda-inspired outfits walked the runways portraying different characters of Chinese social classes, from corrupt government officials and web celebrities, to lesbians and label whores. Well, now I have a good idea of what will either be my next Halloween costume or Madonna Inn photoshoot

And as with any interesting artist comes a backlash of controversy, the show triggered the acceleration of a “panda law” to be passed in Chengdu, protecting the endangered animal’s image from being represented as anything considered suggestive or demeaning. So basically, the artist would not be allowed to strut around the town arm-in-arm with a couple panda girls like a Furry-loving pimp daddy! For shame!

big pimpin

Obviously, this picture of me jumping on the bed in a panda hat would be outlawed! This whole thing sparks my interest, not only because I squeal at the sight of anything panda, but also because my vacation to Beijing last year exposed me to their incredible art scene.

I can’t wait to see what Pandaman has up his sleeve next.

[Sources: Fops and Dandies, Pandatime, Art Zine China, Show China.]