Wuyong (by ma ke)

promoting the renaissance of traditional craftsmanship in China, helping the craftsmen who live in the poor areas to beat poverty and lead a happy life by their own hands and crafts, and driving more people to pay attention to and practice the simple and sustainable lifestyle of harmonious coexistence with nature


On 22nd April 2006, designer Ma Ke established Wuyong Hand Arts Centre in Zhuhai, the coastal city of Southern China. The reason to take the World Earth Day as the establishing date of Wuyong is to express our infinite respect to the earth that human beings depend on.

Wuyong is not a commercial brand, but a non profit organisation committed to the revival of traditional craftsmanship with an innovative mind. All the profit from sales will be used for promoting the passing on of folk craftsmanship, improving the lives of craftsmen, and maintaining daily operations of the Arts Centre.

Ma Ke invited some folk craftsmen from remote mountain areas of southwestern China to work together. Embraced by shades of greenery in a garden, over hundreds of years old, the Wuyong family is comprised of more than twenty members and nine dogs. In the happy family, we create natural daily necessities slowly with traditional handmade ways.


Why Wuyong

In the highly developed society, everyone is out to do useful things; even things with no immediate results are regarded useless. Usefulness has become a pre-requisite of choice, but today’s usefulness usually does not correspond to the value of the future. We keep our eyes fixed on short term profit, without consideration for its values to human spirit and the future.

That which is lost for the appearance of its industrial substitute, is it necessarily useless? That which we seldom use or do not use anymore, has it lost all value? What have we won here, what have we lost? What can I do for what has disappeared or is on the verge of disappearance?

I want to create things which, though they may appear quite useless today, are the bearers of values for the future; I want to change the point of view of people, who consider as useless some things that may be most useful in the future; I hope people will free themselves of the opposition between the useful and the useless in order to find out the root of their desire. I love “Wuyong”, and I think I can give it a new value that does not reside in the object but in the heart of understanding how to treasure it.

Through my Wuyong creation, I am out to find the very nature of the human spirit, what remains in the heart of people in the end, despite economic and technical changes.

” Ma Ke, late 2006

Ma Ke and Wuyong

Ma Ke is one of the most prolific fashion designers working in China today, she graduated from the Suzhou Institute of Silk Textile Technology in 1992 and four years later set up her own label Exception de Mixmind. Her interest in the crossover between contemporary art and fashion led her to establish the artistic brand Wuyong (Useless) in 2006.

Wuyong is an examination of the concept of ‘uselessness’ and how this interpretation varies when seen from different points of view. Taking discarded items such as an old paint covered sheet, she transforms it into a dress, the cracked paint creating a beautiful pattern on the garment, and an old tarpaulin is constructed into a coat of magnificent volume. For Ma Ke this focus on personal interpretation and transformation is a way of highlighting the importance of the individual and the inestimable value of life.

She is known in China for her silent, organic and reflexive clothing that is more creative and experimental in shape. Confronted by the local clothing industry with its cheap, homogenising mass-production and poorly paid workers whose skill is not valued, and by a fashion scene lacking local aesthetic influence and dominated by foreign labels, she dedicated herself to developing her ‘useless’ ideas.

this is her official website: http://www.wuyong.org/Default.aspx


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