In this film, Li-Ning-clad models demonstrate the collection’s wide range of motion as they stride a stark black box, upon which Yang’s immersive digital animations are projected in full scale. This artwork features Yang’s recently unveiled non-binary, non-human cyber character DOKU, a project developed in partnership with Spiral / Wacoal Art Center. In the piece, DOKU embarks on a journey transcending our common sense of space, time, and dimension. Liberated from these constraints, DOKU sheds the limitations imposed upon them by mere three-dimensional perception, resulting in new frontiers of motion and energy exploration. Dressed in key looks from Li-Ning Spring/Summer 2021, DOKU simultaneously demonstrates the fluid nature of the collection in a virtual setting as the character interacts and slowly merges with the elements of this new realm.

The collaboration with the artist Lu Yang marks the most recent manifestation of Li-Ning’s commitment to contemporary art—an engagement that began earlier this year with the announcement of a three-year patronage of Paris’ iconic contemporary arts institution the Centre Pompidou. For Li-Ning, the collaboration with Yang also caps off a 30th anniversary that has seen exciting announcements and partnerships with like-minded design talent, including Stefano Pilati, Neil Barrett, and Danish streetwear brand, Soulland.

“The Art of Movement,” filmed in Shanghai was revealed online as part of Paris Fashion Week. Directed by renowned Chinese new media artist Lu Yang, the film is presented in four chapters, each representing one of the classical, elemental energies: earth, fire, water, and air.

As China’s foremost athletics innovator, Li-Ning has, for three decades, enabled and empowered the human body in movement. The brand’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection examines the powerful link between design and kinetic energy—and how clothing, through construction and fabric manipulation, can both protect and propel the body in motion. Li-Ning presents apparel that frees the form and pushes it to its ultimate potential—creating loose silhouettes through techniques of knitting, gathering, puckering, pleating, and knotting. Implementing many pro-gressive textiles, these feats of tailoring accommodate the body in achieving its fullest range of motion. This concept strips athletics to their universal essence: energetic movements that fuel the human machine.

The Spring/Summer 2021 collection finds new ways to articulate clothing for a full spectrum of human movement—volume for freedom, cocooning for protection, compression for strength. Elements of fabric construction, like box pleating or pintucking, are exaggerated to realize new dimensions in fullness and to remove common restrictions in movement. Elsewhere, techniques of tying and knotting are leveraged to bring support. Within this wide study of mobility lie multiple states of human feeling—from quiet serenity to complete, untethered liberation.