Friday 7 August, 2020

‘No Gyal Can Test’ Jamaican-themed exhibition by Ackeem Smith wows

Stills from the Ackeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test exhibition. (Photos: Dazed, June issue)

Stills from the Ackeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test exhibition. (Photos: Dazed, June issue)

Akeem Smith is showing the world Jamaican culture.

Smith is a Brooklyn-born, NYC-based stylist and designer who has been defining fashion’s underground.

His work creates alluring images of youth culture, and more recently have taken on a heavy dancehall influence.

And most recently he revealed photos of his Jamaican-themed ‘Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test’ exhibit.

It explores the historic, underground dancehall scene, Black latex-wearing, fishnet-loving style, and the tensions and nuances between photography and memory.

Smith’s work features “newly digitised photos given to him from his family’s atelier, OUCH, which outfitted Jamaica's dancehall queens in custom club couture,” read a release.

Large-scale steel sculptures, once used as decorative grills are presented over a multi-channel video installation cut from hundreds of hours of archival dancehall footage.

"I’ve found there are a lot of limitations with styling and designing, but when creating what I would consider a sculpture, there is much more freedom,” Smith told i-D.

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