Min Liu

Directed, produced, shot and edited by Niclas Gillis. Sound design by Aleksander Karshikoff, music by Robot Love / Uno Datwangi remix. The story below was published in The Imagista.

When it comes to art and fashion, the two are one in the same. For designer Min Liu fashion plays a big role in the world. “In art and design the highest purpose is to serve people and inspire people and ultimately bring something positive to the world”. Niclas Gillis, a talented filmmaker, combined forces with the designer to create a video that is visually stimulating and spiritually satisfying. Although Min Liu believes “that the focus should always be on the product and the design, not on the designer”, we at Imagista had the pleasure of getting to know her and her designs simultaneously.

Imagista: How did this project come about?

Niclas Gillis: I’ve been friends with Min’s husband Ian Hylton for a long time and actually made a video of him for Imagista a while back, so that is how we met. I’ve been working on a narrative film about a day in the life of a young woman in the Bronx for the past three years and when a week finally opened up in the schedule I called Ian and said, “didn’t we talk about making a video of Min?” He told me that they were doing a store opening in Shanghai the following Tuesday and that I should come by. So the very next day I was at the Chinese embassy in Stockholm, trying to convince them to process an express visa, and off we went.

Imagista: Can you tell us a little about your relationship with Min?

NG: Min is a real artist. She answers to something other, much like a funnel of some divine inspiration. You can’t quite grasp her, instead you just try to take her in much like you would a scent or a piece of music.

Imagista: What was the inspiration for this video?

NG: I wanted to preserve her integrity. I didn’t want it to be a journalistic piece. She’s a force of nature, so the video had to be like capturing the wind in the leaves, or holding a butterfly in your hands. It was to be a fleeting glimpse into a beautiful mind.

Imagista: Why is this film important to you as a filmmaker?

NG: Every piece represents another attempt at breaking through to something, to shatter the image and getting at something truer, something that is not in the image itself, but that emerges in the relationship between the elements. I haven’t done it yet; somehow everything still is what it is. But when they no longer are, when the image disintegrates and something else emerges which you cannot quite perceive but which finds its way in under your skin, then perhaps I can finally call myself an artist.