University of Arts London - Elisa Palomino

The report addresses the objective of innovating (traditional) creative and cultural industries and empowering cross-sectoral collaboration. The report, initiated by the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture Strategy (NDPC) describes our project:

"FISHSkin (2019–2023) is a project that aims to increase the market take-up of fish leather to an industrial scale. It seeks to do this by integrating knowledge from different disciplines, Fashion Design, Material Science and Marine Biology, to form a new collective knowledge through which academic and industrial experts will strive to develop new techniques and methodologies."

Link to the report here: Report

Thanks to our researcher Elisa Palomino of UAL for her contribution to the report.


University of Arts London - Elisa Palomino

The film “Preservation of Hezhen Fish Skin Tradition Through Fashion Higher Education” will be premiered as part of the official selection of the Fashion Film Festival Milano (10th-13th December). The film, art directed by FISHSkin researcher Elisa Palomino, together with Zhongjin Zhang and Joseph Boon, focuses on the Hezhen society, one of China’s smallest ethnic minorities, living in north eastern China by the Amur river basin.

The film focuses primarily on identifying the historical, cultural, environmental and socio-economic importance of fish skin as an innovative sustainable material. It proposes a vision of sustainability as an anthropological study of the resourcefulness and resilience of the Arctic indigenous peoples, their lifestyles and fish skin practices. The application of the craft to fashion via sustainability practices has been tested through a participatory workshop with fashion students from Central Saint Martins taught by Hezhen craftspeople.

During the last century, Arctic indigenous peoples resisted both colonization and repression by humans, and dramatic ecological changes in seafood security. Fish skin craft became a way to communicate traditional knowledge combined with cultural resilience. In 2006, the Hezhen method of making fish skin clothes was listed as intangible cultural heritage, and Wenfeng You, the main craftsperson featuring in the film (alongside Sun Yulin), was appointed its heir.

Participants: Kyoto Seika University - Mitsuhiro Kokita and Yuji Yonehara University of Arts London - Elisa Palomino

On November 18th, our Japanese partner Kyoto Seika University took part in the annual Science Agora symposium, presenting the FISHSkin project in the view of the mutual benefits of EU-Japan collaboration in research and innovation. Invited by the EU delegation to Japan, Yuji Yonehara and Mitsuhiro Kokita of KSU together with FISHSkin researcher Elisa Palomino of University of the Arts London presented FISHSkin to the local Japanese audience in the Horizon 2020 session.

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