Collective Series #1: ​Dejha Ti and Ania Catherine




Innovation & Creativity Unite Under Crisis

Collective Series #1: ​Dejha Ti and Ania Catherine ‘Natural Subject(s)’

Luxury gender neutral Chinese brand Mithridate reveals the debut collaboration within the new ‘Collective Series’, a celebration of creativity, art and innovation in multi sensory artforms, a homage to the deep connection with art as an endless source of inspiration to Founder Demon Zhang.

‘Natural Subject(s)’ collaboration is by critically acclaimed Los Angeles-based duo Dejha Ti and Ania Catherine, conceptual artists whose work merges environments, performance and technology, creating immersive experiences that draw audiences into their idiosyncratic worlds. Their expertise collide – Ti with an extensive background in immersive art and human-computer interaction (HCI), and Catherine a recognised choreographer, performance artist and gender scholar.

The ‘Collective Series’ was born as a creative response to lockdown, igniting creativity through collaboration, providing unity and support under crisis whilst celebrating the power of female innovation and creativity. Never before has sharing an aesthetic and set of like minded values been more important, this philosophy is at the heart of the concept and allows Mithridate to inspire and empower their community, expressed through the worlds of art, fashion, design and technology.

Ti and Catherine’s approach is rooted in the understanding that immersion is not only a physical state, but also an emotional and psychological one, a like-minded approach Mithridate’s Founder Demon also considers within her creative process, Ti and Catherine’s employs nuance within scale, focused on producing a feeling instead of a spectacle.

The duo’s ongoing collaborative practice culminates in innumerable forms ranging from large-scale installations, digital experiences, performance art, film, choreography, and combinations thereof. Seeing questions as origins for creativity, they are interested in ways that art and technology can be merged and harnessed not for entertainment, but as a means to reflect on, understand, and shape new realities.

Despite the challenges of a restricted world under lockdown, for their collaboration ‘Natural Subject(s)’, Dejha and Ania curated relationships between the life forms on a garment and a location where those life forms live in real life, allowing a being to come into contact with interpretation of itself. Natural Subject(s) decentralises the human experience. Its creation was a collaboration with nature; Dejha and Ania entered and submitted to the environments, resisting the myth of superiority and desire for control.

Mithridate developed the collaboration concept with award-winning MTArt Agency and its Founder Marine Tanguy, who represents the most exciting up and coming visual artists worldwide, artists with innovative techniques, inspiring content and strong messaging.

The Collective Series aims to reveal a collective body of work as an ongoing series, exploring and celebrating the talents of women in art as a multi sensory, immersive experience, speaking to and growing their global artistic and ambassadorial community, fusing the creative mediums of fashion, art and design as part of their digital offering.

All Mithridate pieces worn throughout the Natural Subject(s) collaboration are part of the adapted Mithridate AW2020 ‘Hope’ collection, available online from August 3rd 2020, shop the featured items here.

Mithridate Founder Demon Zhang explains;

‘Through my creative approach, nature and art are my main sources of inspiration.
I am honoured to collaborate with such like minded, inspirational creatives and touched to see the results of our collaboration celebrating our joint methodology. Their approach to Natural Subject(s), made together under lockdown conditions, has produced such sensitive artworks, reflecting the sensitivity of the current society we live in, they inspire me and give me a hopeful confidence that creativity can, under challenging difficult times, always find its beauty.’

Dejha Ti and Ania Catherine present Natural Subject(s);

“We hope that the story and images of Natural Subject(s) 1) inspire others to see what they often overlook, and to not take for granted the beauty that still exists around you and in you, even when it feels like everything is falling apart, and 2) invoke a mass reflection, a deeper listening to and honouring of the natural world.”

Who is the subject? is a misplaced question. What is the subject? is more fitting.

The subject of the series is interlinkage, subject(s) of the natural world captured in a single moment: insects, the human body, shapes, wildlife, wind, sound, texture, taste, sound, light, silhouettes, movement, breath. Natural subject(s).

A bird embroidered hears a bird sing and flaps its wings. Texture and sound become landscape. Life forms cross paths speaking the same language: intuition. Insects eat the remnants of a discarded peach, leaving remnants of their own. A seed is blown to a new location, replants itself. The human body is not separate from nature, just one form thereof.

Dejha and Ania were floored by the synchronicity between the scenes depicted on Mithridate’s collection and the scenes within their immediate surroundings. The lakes, geese, stone castles, birds, and large trees on a blouse look almost indistinguishable from scenes in the town in which they’re living.

While shooting, a caterpillar crawls onto Dejha’s jacket, the presence of poison ivy dictates where they can stand, wind blows a scarf and becomes the central focus of the image, mosquitos feed from their flesh as they make art in their swamp, clouds reveal light patterns that lure them into dusty corners, a family of geese stand by Ania’s feet as she performs, they stumble upon a dead bird that is simultaneously gorgeous and depleted of life.

The clothes come to life via their bodies inhabiting them in the very landscapes and beings that motivated them. Small instances defined their experience.
Dejha and Ania hope that these peculiar moments of chance captured in their photography, lead to a deeper listening to and honouring of the natural world.

Describing their creative process, Dejha Ti and Ania Catherine reflected;

‘Natural subject(s) would not have come about without the limitations put on us by the pandemic and global shutdown. In quarantine, we found ourselves spending ample time in the remote nature around us as possible. Long walks and discovering areas for quiet observation became part of our routine.

When we saw the Mithridate collection, we felt like it had arisen from the ground in which we were falling in love and felt an immediate alignment. Our normal mode of working which involves large-scale projects with comprehensive teams and highly technical set-ups was not possible; quarantine was a creative constraint that fostered a completely different manifestation of our creative practice. We realized how much was possible with just the two of us, each taking on multiple roles, focusing on nuance, simplicity, and the poetry of the everyday.

This collaboration expanded what we expect from ourselves, and we do not feel that the images are lacking meaning or poetry even though they were created simply. This was a beautiful conclusion.

MTArt Agency Founder Marine Tanguy comments;

‘It’s such a dream to see such poetic photographs. I am so pleased that Mithridate used these challenging times to be innovative and show that renown artists like Dejha Ti & Ania Catherine can inspire us when our sectors are in crisis. The sounds, the lights and the emotions, I can feel them all.’