Buying unique gifts in Beijing, particularly if you've been here for a few years, can be a bit of a trial. Once everyone in your family has the obligatory "silk" dressing gown and Plastered 8 t-shirt, where do you go from there?

Enter up-and-coming Ukranian artist Alena Olasyuk. A graduate from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, her past and current art works focus on intricately detailed black and white patterns, rendered by hand in Chinese ink. Looking for a way to bring her art to a larger audience, she came up with the "Do You Want to Wear an Artwork?" concept, that features unique hand-carved woodcuts printed on t-shirts. 

Each woodcut is printed just 15 times and every item is signed by Olasyuk herself, so it really feels like you are wearing a unique piece of art (which, of course, you are because every woodcut print comes out every so slightly different). The t-shirts are priced at around RMB 300.

Of the appeal of the clothes, Olasyuk says: "I like woodcut printing because the end result is not quite perfect. I think people feel closer to the designs this way, because people aren't perfect either."

The black and white styles (with hints of red here and there) are fashion forward, yet simple enough to be wearable everyday. "I like black and white things because they are permanent, they never go out of style," Olasyuk says.

Below are some photos of the production process. Each woodcut takes approximately a day to carve, followed by printing.

Find Olasyuk's designs at Tucheng Space, within the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology and via The Epic Project, an Italian design distribution company.

Tucheng Space 
Room 102, 1/F, BIFT Park, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, 2A Yinghuayuan Dongjie, Chaoyang District (6452 0847)
朝阳区樱花园东街甲2北京服装学院内BIFT Park 102室1层土城空间

The Epic Project
402 B, 39 Office, 4 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (5701 5842)
朝阳区工体北路4号39 Office 402B

Email [email protected] for more information.

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Photos: Robynne Tindall, Alena Olasyuk


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