Evaluation for Unit 7
I would like to say I almost achieve what I set out to do in my proposal. There was one thing that I decided to change a way of doing it, it is about the questionnaire. Initially I was planning to give it to people and see what do they think about of the distribution of domesticity. I have to say the questions I set are quiet considerable. However, considering of the diversity and variety of families, their voice can not be represented well only based on statistics on paper. I do already handed to people and get several feedback. Nevertheless, I found that it would be better to leave it blank to let everyone ask themselves, to think about it carefully in mind.
My theme is about the self-affirmation of being a housewife as well as a feminist at the same time. I have done research from different area including historical topics such as American housewives in 1950s, the history of feminism; I have read various books from performance art to ‘The second sex’. I went to a lecture about feminism in University of Bristol when I was travelling in holiday… Generally I have explored a lot in research section but I feel like if I take a step into some psychological aspects I could figure out more ways of extending my project.
I have three outcome for this project. The first one is the questionnaire which I've already explained in previous section. The second outcome is a video of performance art. This could be considered as both primary and secondary research. The third outcome is a garment as well as an installation which is developed from the second outcome — the video. All these three outcomes are related to one another, step by step.
If I could restart my project, I will probably do some performance publicly like a real performance art with the integration to audience. This could help to get feedback much more directly.
I would like to say the most successful aspect of my project is my video art. i have learnt a lot of how to use premiere pro to edit the video and how to design the set up to make sure the video is related to my concept. I like the garment as well because it can represent differently as a garment, an installation, or a sculpture.
Speaking about the weaknesses in this project, I would like to mention
If I have more time, I would like to take my concept further by doing a performance art by wearing the trapped plastic garment for the whole month trying to challenge the time and physical limitation.
I feel like I could of do more experiments of combine different materials such as the domestic trash with the silhouette which will be quite excited to look at.
I would like to mark 7 out of 10. I was fully motivated at the beginning and the ending of the project. After making a plan of what to do each day, I almost achieved all of them except for the easter holiday. Next time If I feel stuck, go traveling will be a solution and it can bring more inspiration as well.
After finishing the first garment, which is about the starting point of the skin before it got distorted by the weight, I'm starting use this picture of the garment to do a lot of manipulation and mark making on top of it. Also, combine this initial silhouette with the after process of distortion of the t-shirt, which can fill in a whole process of how the silhouette changes in the whole performance art. I'm surprisingly found out that this project, the silhouettes are really not changed that much, this is more about details. For example, how the pants have a bow shape on top of it, which needed to be considered by different positions of darts... everything is about details. In addition, in the latest process of illustrations, those forgotten strips fabrics need to be involved, I've tried to put them in several positions such as between the blocks, the sleeves ..etc it can be also seen an innovation inside the performance.
Today is the photoshoot day. To be very honest I was thinking about this project is an unisex project -- due to the ideology that all of the genders are get involved in the topic of gender equality. However, the garment doesn't look good under the bright light of the photoshoot room. Thus I took some extra pictures with my friend. And accidentally I found out a way of presenting the garment that make it looks like an installation. There was a cube inside the studio and its a perfect place of displaying the garment -- I made †he trousers standing besides the cube while the top part of the garment is on the cube.
I've been spending my whole four days in bringing my garment into reality.
I decided to make the design that can represent the beginning of the transformation -- one simple layer of skin.
According to my illustrations, I did several sketches of how the fabrics gonna look like on the body. Also, I would like to mark an important aspect in this making process -- the pattern cutting. Basically those different way of doing the pattern can provide a very various effect of the garment. Thus I did some sketches, they are more like plans of how to separate parts of the garment and how to cut the patterns.
For the pants I prefer to use pattern cutting -- bc obviously it is really hard to drap a pair of trousers that fit your body really well. I tried to use the basic block to do some manipulation on top, change some data to get my ideal pattern. To be honest I've learnt a lot in the process of pattern making for the pants. Because normally I always have the basic block and all i need to do is to copy the patter on paper directly-- I've never actually made basic block pattern myself.
- What I've learnt some practical skills such as:
1- how to measure the crutch depth(body size:)
CD (cm)= 0.175 * waist + 15.4cm
2- how to measure the Trouser bottom width (cm)
= 0.125 * waist (cm) + 13 (cm)
After all of the measurements i pin the basic block i made on body to see how to cut it into separate parts so i could get the idea of how to create my ideal silhouette. I used draping tape to mark in general and use pencil to refine the detail of the lines to get a much more accurate and clear cut line.
Then i spend my time on tracing those paper patterns on the clear plastic I'm going to use. I thought its gonna be slippery but actually its fine. The tough thing about this is that I need to be aware of the darts -- I always forgot to mark them on the bottom piece of fabric because i trace both fabrics at once to save time.
Due to the effect that i would like to create -- the way that something got trapped inside of the plastic, well what i chose were several skin colour elastic thin fabric, which could easily cause problem. I felt it was really hard to trace the pattern on top of those fabric unless you use a unique way of pining them together -- the 'x' cross. On my testing samples i found it was really hard to sew the elastic fabric with the plastic together without distortion which was quite annoying. I thought that was because I didn't pin them properly or the pins I've used were not enough. However, I found out that it was more about to pin them on the right direction to avoid the stretch on fabric. And it works.
After tracing all of the patterns on fabric, the next step was to sew them together. But before that i need to pin them together. Some parts of this process really took me a long time -- some details of curving borders of the patterns, + the fabrics were so thick together which already made them hard to be pin together. For some tiny details it was better to use hand sew instead of the sewing machine because its almost impossible to make the structure fit for the machine. And hand sew is more flexible.
- need to be careful with the place where you are going to put the zipper: need to leave a bit more space for that ( normally i would like yo leave one cm extra for sewing but for the zipper i should of leave 2cm next time)
Draping the top:
For the top of the garment I prefer to use draping. First of all I use draping tape to get a general shape of the back (which is the main part for the top). And using paper to get the paper pattern first the tracing it on the fabric.
I've done several fabric manipulation today. Basically there are like using some plastic to trap the fabric inside. Also I've tried to use some memorable materials such as polaroid picture and textiles I've done days before. The idea 'trap' came from the thought that the domestic tasks are like restrictions which can limit a person's personal life from different aspects. Also, the idea of the existence of 'trap' will always be there even if there is no one actually step into it. So I'm thinking about to do something that can be wear as a garment but also can be set as a piece of installation such as a sculpture. Speaking about the installation, well a sculpture is a good idea but still need to figure it out like how can a piece of garment become an installation : softness, what kind of structure it would be to support it as a sculpture.....
Today I've learnt how to use adobe premiere pro to add titles and how to add additional animation effect for the moving titles. There is one clip about a noticeboard I took near the Thames river, it was originally about apologise of the inconvenience caused by the constructions. And I modified it to an apology of not providing any value for the family. Well it was kind of showing how people ignore the value of people who's in charge of domesticity. I've never used premiere pro before and this is the first time for me to edit video as well, it was a bit challenging. However, I do have learnt tons of new techniques for examples, how to deal with the audio and video separately and freely; adding different effects on clips to emphasis the important point of the story... etc. For the reason why I would like to do a video for a fashion course because i see this video as a main part that can support my whole research in this project. It can also be seen as a record of the theme and how the starting point got started and showing a flowing process of initial idea.
Today i've got a trip through London because I need to take several clips of different scenes for my video editing. I'm thinking about to take some clips of the walking crowds which can present a person's daily life -- alone, walking, thinking about their life inside their mind... I'm not even sure if I could of using all of them, some of them are just tiny little clips or pictures such as the green lights, the sounds of the Big Ben well it can represent the time... they are all just some general ideas. To be honest I've done several sketchbook pages today of how the performance art in the video can transform to silhouettes of designs. I used to do a lot of extreme silhouettes but this time i would like to follow what the feedback the performance give to me-- if it stay calm, then my project is gonna stay calm as well... it is more like a conceptual project than massive amount of textiles without thoughts.
If the T-shirt can represent a layer of skin on body, i can use some materials such as clear plastic to manipulate the shape of the trace of weight hanging on then body. I tried to heat the plastic fabric to let it get distorted to get my ideal silhouette. And i noticed that when I was using materials with different thickness, they provided different effects with the heat gun.
Today I did some screenshot to let the process flowing on my sketchbook. The name of the video is called the Fridge.
The Fridge -- speaking about domesticity, it always reminds me of the kitchen and the american housewife in 1950s. Their main task is to focus on the kitchen and 'serve' her husband and kids -- prepare breakfast lunch dinner ...whatever they need to eat and thats quite sick to be honest. How can people believe that someones value is only gonna work inside the kitchen? and that even became a standard of what a good lady's behaviour is, well which is to only care about things happened in the kitchen instead of self-actualisation. There is no personal career for women because they are women they don't need to do anything besides housework. However, what i would like to focus on is the conflict between domesticity and feminism in modern society. And 'The fridge' obviously is about things happened in the kitchen.
I was planning to find a way of how to represent the tasks (responsibility )in the kitchen. Then I noticed i could use plastic clear bag to trap water to present this -- each bag of water is heavy, the weight of the water can be seen as one task in domesticity. When there is a problem of the distribution of domesticity existed, there will be more and more weights added on the same person. When it reaches the limitation, there will be something that never gonna be rebuild just like the T-shit with bunches of bags hanged with. Once it get ripped out, even you reduce the weight after, it is impossible to maintain the same silhouette of the t-shirt anymore.
I tried to put the draing i did yesterday on different parts of the body. This helped me to get various experiments of silhouette. Also, according to the mop, and the process of mopping, it reminds me of bunches of strips and layers. Then I was thinking about what kind of materials I'm going to use for the textile samples-- I'm thinking about to use some domestic waste such as scrap paper, plastic packages, empty plastic bottles...etc. They can present the living style and attitude for a person because they provided the trace of what kind of product you purchased which could also reflect personal financial issue as well as the taste. They are just like the microscopes because there must be a reason that you purchased those products, it makes much more easier to tell the characteristics in a way as well.
Thus, I did several fabric manipulation pf paper packages and plastic tea bags by simply cutting them in strips and put them together.
Today I did some draping on body with the idea of mopping. Basically I was thinking about how to combine furniture with the human body -- because people is part of domesticity so he should of get involved and becoming part of the body.
Thus, I made a large scale of drawing with simple sketches and some words such as 'How could you feel tired?' 'Can you do your own shit?' 'Mop the floor' .... these sentences are coming from the view of a family member who can not see the value that a women provided in domesticity well most of them are housewives. So they kind of started blaming them saying those women don't have their own earning and staying at home for the whole life for doing nothing-- which is not true.
This is the first time ever for me to learn how to edit a video. I have checked few youtube tutorials about how to use premier pro and I'm so glad I could do some simple editing after several experiments. I would like to mix the scenes and clips to present the story well. It was just a beginning well more like a trailer, I have got a plan but it need to be modified with more details.
Today is the day of shooting the video.
I have already taken several clips including some clocks like the Big Ben, scene of going down the escalator, walking in the crowd, ...etc. All of these clips are going to be edited and combined with my performance. Well I have not decided how many videos I'm going to take but the very first one I would like to call it ''The Fridge''.
''The Fridge'' is about a woman who always in charge of the kitchen got mad about the ignorance of her family members -- none of them is trying to help with those housework inside the kitchen. So she was thinking about it and complaining it inside her mind all over the day -- when she was walking on the street, taking the tube, ...etc. She could not stop thinking about it. All of these time consuming house work are just like a lot of plastic food bags which are filled with water, and that makes them extremely heavy. She tried to hang them on her body one by one until there was one of them falling down and got destroyed-- that is the limitation. At the same time, her shirt is distorted by the gravity and stretching forces. After that, she took out a pair of scissors to make a cut on each plastic bag, letting the water flowing out gradually. See, that was someone trying to help her. As the water keeps flowing, her distorted shirt got back to almost the original size as well. Everything is getting fixed.
For taking this video I used my bathroom as the place to take the scene. I taped the wall and floor with black plastic bin bags to make sure it can show the performance clearly. I set my camera at a satisfied position as well. So I started taking the video. I finished performing everything. However, something went wrong with my camera-- it only videoed half of it-- which means I lost the other half part of the performance but I could do it again.
About the reflection of performing in front of the camera... I can feel the weight of the water -- it became heavier and heavier, I have got 25 plastic bags from one package in Tesco. I filled water of all of them. When I was starting hanging the 13rd bag I started feeling tired-- I could barely move with all of the bags on my body and the shoulder part hurt so much. When I tried to hang the 21st bag, it dropped-- I drown my energy and that bag just falling on the floor with the water split all over the floor.
Thus, I started to make holes on each of them to let water flowing out. At first I could not feel anything except I knew every part of my body hurt just like I've been hitting by a car. And after few minutes I can feel a bit release, but still tired. After all of the bags became empty again, I took them off my shirt, and I noticed that my shirt was already got distorted with holes on it.
Project Proposal: Domesticity of women and feminism
- Can you see re occurring themes in in your work developing? areas you are interested in or inspired by? For example - If you are interested in something like architecture think why? What aspect? What does it make you think, in what context?
I found that from the very first fashion project I have done until this one, I always prefer to look up some performance art and video art. Personally, I
am interested in how the artists themselves to get involved into the work and how they become part of their idea, process even media to present the ideology to the audience. And all of the things attracted me the most is the insight and story behind it, like the behaviour of humanity, those things can raise my curiosity. I'm not that interested in the beautiful things — it is so easy for everyone and everything to become beautiful in this century.
- Are you working within any parameters, rules, restrictions enforced by you or external? (for example the Bauhaus movement had specific design rules it followed)
Timeline limitation : The modern society
Surrealism—>> women as part of the furniture
- What is the context of your project? Would it be a very different project in a different context? (Look up the meaning of context and the different types e.g. cultural, historical etc.)
My context is based on the idea of modern feminism. Since the beginning of feminism— women’s suffrage until now, there has been a huge improvement in political, social, economic and personal rights. However, there is a large ignorance and a misunderstand of housewife.Feminism is such a vague topic to discuss as a project so housewife is the point that I would like to focus on.
- List and think about your audience. Is there a purpose to what you want to do, or a specific user or group it is for?
The initial idea of this project is about how women’s self-consciousness be valued by themselves and how it is affected by the society. For example, there are so many cases of the ignorance of the value that a housewife provides to a family. As the raise of modern feminism, some critics doubt if a housewife can be a feminist or not. For some instant, people who think a housewife could not state herself as a feminist because she is not an independent individual— in a way they believe that she is financially relied on her family members(which could be stated as a debate with pros and cons) and they kind of ignore the value a housewife can provide expect for the ‘income’. What I believe in is people do have the right to decide what do they want to do in their future, there is nothing negative for being a housewife if her partner does support her and both of them are satisfied with the distribution of responsibility in their family. I would like to raise the awareness of the importance of self-affirmation and to encourage women to be brave enough to do what they want to do instead of prioritising the expectation provided by the society and environment.
- Are there any Theories tied in with your theme? (theory can be ideas or sets of principles)
-What is a women(feminist)’s behaviour? (Because it is so popular for some feminists to state a certain model of ‘what a feminist life should be’— in their point of view, the most successful feminist’s life should including a successful career with a high standard of income, an above average qualification, a nice body shape with handwork in gym….) what I would like to emphasis is what made a person a feminist — the ideology of believing in gender equality.
After the questionnaire, I'm thinking about to make a video.
In the video, I am not who I am.
Instead, I am an epitome that represent the conflict of women and domesticity in modern society.
- A video(a mini silent film) : with clips of:
- a lady (which might be myself + without the face) doing different domestic housework/ career work
- different clocks/ timer to present locations and scenes : e.g..the alarm near the bed, the timer in the kitchen(the oven, microwave..), the clock in the public(e.g. The Big Ben), the time on the laptop(workplace )…
3. Repetition+ intersection of clips….—->> A day/ A week/ A month
4. Record of emotion: e.g. part of the facial expression— talking, eating, drinking…
5. clips of “Me as part of the furniture ”
Question: how could I get myself involved in to this Process + presentation
How to link it to fashion?
—It also reminds me a question to ask myself: what do I wear under certain circumstances? How could I do experiments for silhouettes which link to domesticity? (I got an idea of videoing myself doing housework for example mopping the floor— the front part of the dress could be shorter to avoid being dragged on the floor…)
The propose of doing this video is to show the process of transforming the initial idea to personal experiment and development. Probably I could combine it with different uniforms..
After making/ editing the video:
Choose the representative scenes ad print them out to develop the silhouettes.
The colours and materials are going to depends on the ‘domestic trash’ — a part of life that we choose to through them away because we believe in that they are not meaningful anymore. Also, the idea of domestic trash can represent a person’s personal lifestyle as well as the part of their identification. For example, what kind of domestic trash I have in my room? Probably the most noticeable stuffs are my daily contacts cases and tons of empty plastic water bottles. …
- List how you will fulfill your aim and your objectives in this project: (objectives are usually more specific than an aim. Think about the methods the skills and techniques, the processes)
- - Aim: To study the relationship between feminism and domesticity of women
Objectives: Conflicts and coexistence of two identifications for women
- Process/ Methods/ Media/ Skills:
- To record/ develop/ present:
- Interview — Primary research — because personally I don't have an experience of being a married woman with domesticity so I'm thinking about to do a questionnaire to figuring out how women’s view of domesticity.
Samples: im thinking about if i should limited a range of people ….??????
Key Questions of the questionnaire:
What is your job?
What time you started/ finished your work?
Distribution of housework with your partner/ Frequency of housework /
How long have you been doing these housework since you get married?
How many hours for you doing housework per day?
What is your partner/s attitude towards domestic housework?
Does your partner share the responsibility of domesticity with you?
If he/ she does so, how often is the frequency?
Does he/she think it is your responsibility?
What is the most busiest time for you to take care of the housework? (Which one of them annoyed you the most/ makes you feeling a waste of your personal time?)
Are you satisfied with the distribution of housework inside your family?
If not, can you briefly write down the reason?
23rd Feb 2017
The domesticity of women seems has a long history from the beginning of patriarchy of humanity.
Even nowadays, the responsibility and social requirement for married women reach a higher standard than before: Besides the domesticity, they have to take care of their job career. I wouldn't deny that this could be seen as a step of improvement for gender equality -- at least everyone has the opportunity to work and to earn money for their own life; and at least more and more women have the chance to go to school for their education.
HOWEVER, the reality is not as "equal" as the idea -- the unbalance distribution inside a family is not that 'equal', although most of women do go to work ( which could be called "producing the visible value for a family-- earnings, salaries.. ", because normally its hard for people to 'value' the domesticity produced by a housewife, which could be seen as an invisible sacrifice). There are still a large percent of family carrying a traditional view of spreading the responsibility, most of the male members inside the family still don't take domesticity as part of their duty, and at the same time, they have a higher expectation for female members to finish all of the 'missions' including taking care of their children, doing housework, as well as having a satisfactory of their career (self-esteem)...,etc.
Also, the saddest thing for a housewife is, most of her work could been ignored easily by her family members, some husbands can even ask "How could you feel tired? You spend the whole day at home!" or ''Your work is not important compare to mine, I earn money for the whole family and all of the things you have done is just to cook dinners and doing a bit cleaning.''
What I mentioned here is not like I think a woman who has work is more valuable than a housewife,people have rights to choose either go to work or stay at home. Nonetheless, the former need to fulfil more responsibility and the latter is easier to receive ignorance by her family. Moreover, It even doesn't have to related to gender -- male family member could choose to stay at home to do domestic housework while female members could go to work to earn money for the family.
Gavin Turk: Who What When Where How and Why
This exhibition is mainly about British culture related stuffs which is really related to their lives but at the same time it was not that easy for me to understand it totally. However, I do find out theres one aspect really interested me, he used some of tiny little wastes such as cigar, food boxes, plastic bags, ...etc. He put them randomly on the floor and to create a whole atmosphere of how these little installations stay together and provide you an effect of life.
8th Feb 2017
Reflection : Tschabalala Self
The thing in this exhibition that interested me the most is the way of using materials to represent a story by the artist. It is such a pleasure when you can see bunch of materials that work very well together on the same piece of paper or canvas, and the techniques she used are all different, some of them are stitch ones, glues, collages.... more importantly i think there is another aspect that makes her work looks alive -- the movement/ position of the main character on canvas, they all looks like either dancing or staring at you, you know they are doing their own things and that helps a lot for making the art work more alive.
The artist uses a of distorting/ exaggerating the shape of the body to represent a view of freedom, a way of freedom that only for female to present themselves without any doubts or boundaries. I found this exhibition under a catalogue of feminism -- to be honest i could of feel that, she's no hesitate of showing women's body and even she could paint it in a very confident way.