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Final Picture:

 

The Poem: Peaches

A crate of peaches straight from the farm
has to be maintained, or eaten in days.
Obvious, but in my family, they went so fast,
I never saw the mess that punishes delay.

I thought everyone bought fruit by the crate,
stored it in the coolest part of the house,
then devoured it before any could rot.
I’m from the Peach State, and to those

who ask But where are you from originally,
I’d like to reply to The homeland of the peach,
but I’m too nice, and they might not look it up.
In truth, the reason we bought so much

did have to do with being Chinese—at least
Chinese in that part of America, both strangers
and natives on a lonely, beautiful street
where food came in stackable containers

and fussy bags, unless you bothered to drive
to the source, where the same money landed
a bushel of fruit, a twenty-pound sack of rice.
You had to drive anyway, each house surrounded

by land enough to grow your own, if lawns
hadn’t been required. At home, I loved to stare
into the extra freezer, reviewing mountains
of foil-wrapped meats, cakes, juice concentrate,

mysterious packets brought by house guests
from New York Chinatown, to be transformed
by heat, force, and my mother’s patient effort,
enough to keep us fed through flood or storm,

provided the power stayed on, or fire and ice
could be procured, which would be labor-intensive,
but so was everything else my parents did.
Their lives were labor, they kept this from the kids,

who grew up to confuse work with pleasure,
to become typical immigrants’ children,
taller than their parents and unaware of hunger
except when asked the odd, perplexing question.

The intention of the Home project was to create a wearable, functional garment that relates to home, and also inspired by the poem “Peaches”. I wanted my garment to express what home means to me through classic Chinese cuisines, and in order to do so, I created a wearable Chinese restaurant table, because for me, at a dinner table is where home is reminded for me with my family and friends gathered around the restaurant table, eating, laughing and talking. In order to create my restaurant table garment, I gathered the supplies of cardboard, big plastic bags, Chinese takeout boxes, Chinese crackers, strings, and some hot glue. The cardboard is used to create the round shaped lazy Suzy table, as I will be slowly spinning in my performance. The big plastic bags are functioned as in real Chinese restaurants, they would put multiple layers of plastic over the table so it would be easier to clean up the customer’s mess, and I wanted to replicate that authentic feel. The Chinese takeout boxes are used as the “dishes” on the table, as I feel like the message would go through stronger if I use Chinese takeout boxes rather than plates so that the audience would know its Chinese food, and that’s what it means home to me. I chose to put Chinese crackers into the boxes rather than other kinds of food like rice, because when my family starts dinner, we would always open a bag of Chinese crackers and pour it in a bowl as an appetizer, and I realize that everytime I snack on those crackers, it would take me back to home. The strings are what is going to make this restaurant table garment wearable and functional.

In the beginning, professor Andrea gave the class an assignment to find a poem that relates to me personally what home is, and I picked the poem “Peaches” because the poem speaks out about growing up as a child of an immigrant family, and where food is being played as an element of home in the poem. Personally, I grew up in an immigrant family, and then I relate to the poem “Peaches”, as it explains that the family don’t have a lot of money and the parents would never show the bad side to their child, and no matter what, they will never let their child go hungry. Then, the next class I had to start brainstorming about ideas of what I was going to do, and as I presented my poem to professor Andrea and she recommended me to go to the MOCA, and at first I wanted to make a dress out of Chinese takeout boxes and plastic bags, and put fortune cookies in them for the audience to take, but I wanted to do something more about food rather than just putting a lot of attention to plastic bags and Chinese takeout boxes. When I went to MOCA and saw a dinner table filled with Chinese cuisines, it inspired me to make do a garment of the restaurant table as a functional garment. First, I gathered the supplies and used cardboard to make a round shaped table with a hole in the middle for me to go in. Next, I put the big plastic bags around the table to create that authentic chinses restaurant feeling, and I glued the Chinese takeout boxes to the table and filling them up with the Chinese crackers. To make the garment functional and wearable, I strapped strings to 4 sides of the table and it would strap onto my shoulder so the table would be up to my waist.

Process Picture:

The only part that was difficult in the process was to cover the cardboard box with the plastic bags in a way that it didn’t look trashy or unprofessional. The trash bags would bunch up a lot of the times and not stay in the place it was supposed to, and having to fix the bags was the most difficult part of this project, and to solve that, I just glues the whole cardboard box to the plastic bags so it would not move around as much, and I ended up tucking the inner circle with tape so the bags would not fall.

Through this project, I have grown in a lot of ways, as I used all the lessons and abilities that I have learned throughout the course to make this project as an artist. I have learned how to make wearable garments not look trashy, and my performance ability improved as I practiced my choreography. I not only had growth as an artist but also as a person, learning about how to connect things and meanings to where a project would perform at its peak.

Time: New Museum

For the New Museum, the work that attracted me the most was Marguerite Humeau’s work of Birth Canal. Some of the work in the New Museum was a little unsettling for me to see, but I was just drawn to the installations of these gloops of shapes, and the dramatic lighting, with the dark atmosphere, just caught my attention when i went to the New Museum. At first, I did not know what the piece was about, and as I assumed it was an abstract piece of work, I made up my own assumptions first. At first, I thought the piece was about body shapes, fat-shaming, or anything with body shaming idea, but as I read the title “Birth Canal”, I was so surprised and fascinated that those gloops of sculptures are babies, yes I really thought those were babies when I read the title. But, as I learned more about this art piece, I found out that these sculptures are inspired by prehistoric figurines, which I didn’t understand at first, but I figured out that it was Venus figurines. Then, I understood why the sculpture had no specific shape that is obvious to the eye, you would have to look more closely into the sculpture to figure out that those installations are similar to venus figurines. I loved the work even more as it is women empowering as the birth canal belongs to “venus, the women.

Sem 1: Shift: Research Summary

Darice Zhang

Seminar 1: shift

December 5, 2018

Paul Zelevansky

Hello, my name is Darice Hu Zhang, and some people call me D. I am currently 18 years old enrolled in as a freshman in The New School in the department of  Parsons School of Design. I am majoring in fashion marketing, and I have fallen in love with fashion and business ever since middle school when I began my passion for clothing. I started to join a lot of business organizations in high school and did art but not really fashion as I was not sure of what I wanted to do in the future yet. But I knew that my passion for business and clothing would merge and I came down to be studying fashion marketing.

       This research project first was initiated in the class of my seminar class, as the primary topic of the class is a shift, and transition of time and objects. All the projects prior to this one have all the themes of history and shift in one and place, and to I am here, and we are here. My professor told us that the research project is also about the topic of the shift, and he assigned us to simply take a walk with a sketchbook in our hands to record our observations. At first, I didn’t know where to go, and I did not trust my feet to lead me to somewhere. But, one day, I decided to walk to school from my dorm. I live in an Educational Housing Building in 96th street and 3rd Avenue, so the walk to school for me would be two whole hours. I didn’t mind it because I felt like I have been missing the 82 streets of historical backgrounds when I ride the subway every day.

      The walk was really long and tiring, but I passed by various unique buildings and museums, but I did not have any interest in any of them. As I walk into the fifth avenue, I saw that this street was very different about the other streets. The fifth avenue was livelier and brighter than the streets around it. For I stood there for moments, observing the environment and the people coming in and out of brand name stores. Business people yelling on the phone about contracts and agreements, tourists laughed about the dream of coming to New York City, and cars honking and swirling through the busy street of the shopping district. Then I realized, I wanted to do my research project on the 5th Avenue, as to how this specific street came to be one of the most famous and expensive streets in the nation? This question was the main drive of my research project. I loved the fifth avenue shipping departments, the design of the building and the luxurious garments that are displayed in a glass case. It was a fantasy for me to be there and I wanted to discover more about the place and how it became the way it is.

      The next class I presented my idea to my professor and he told me that I needed to pick a more specific location rather than having a vague street. I remember it was a hurdle that I couldn’t nor get through for a while because there were so many things on the fifth avenue, so much to discover and talk about, pinpointing one specific location was a hard challenge for me. I decided to first do more research on the fifth avenues history, while I was diving into the research I came across a place called “The Marble Palace” that was bud by this wealthy millionaire A. T. Stewart, but that is not the important part, the important aspect is that this department is the first commercial department store in the nations to be built, as it changed the way people shopped and the social status of women as most of the customers were women.

      As I chose The Marble Palace as my research project I learned a lot of the business side of the fashion industry, which is critical my studying of fashion marketing. I connected a lot to the behind works of commercial department store, as the operation and the design of the building, which made it stand out to other small retail stores, which draws alot of customers and women into the store.

Movie response

Three ways that I can contribute to climate change is to first minimalize the trash I produce every day. Second, I could use environment-friendly transportations such as biking. And third, I could let my friends and families be more aware of the environment issue and helping them solve and achieve their goals in sustainability.

 

Minimalizing trash is starting to become a popular sustainable trend in the society, as people began trying to buy food with a lot of packaging of plastic, or no composable supplies, which are usually all end up in the trash bin. I believe the first step of changing the climate is to separate my trash of recyclable and non-recyclable. Most people like me once did not realize the significant impact of recycling, as more plastics are being thrown into the ocean, and more production of those plastics by capitalist companies are made. Then, I could start buying products with little to no packaging, as I would not pick up their plastic bags that would usually contain your carrots or cabbages. And, as if the product does have packaging, I could make sure that the packaging is decomposable. I would have a soil bin with worms inside to help decompose part or most of my trash. Second, rather than driving everywhere, I could start biking or use automobiles that use electricity rather than gas for my transportation. Lastly spreading the word about climate change is one of the most important elements in making sure that I am contributing to climate change.

 

There are a lot of inconvenience issues with achieving contributing to the climate change, as most products are made to market to be very convenient, but most people are not aware that the process of this convenience is a significant blow to the environment. Another inconvenience for me is price, for a lot of the products that are environmentally friendly, are pricier than just buying something fast and cheap. Driving a gas driven car is the most convenient transportation as electric cars are pricier and there are not a lot of public transportations in Texas.

Mud Ball Toss

For my mudballs, I didn’t make it in time for the mudball making so I just took one from one of the leftover mudballs, and I left in my plastic bag near my window, which is next to the heater. As days pass, I just check into the ball a few times, and rather than taking pictures, I sketched the balls instead. and I threw my mudball into the pier near Harlem.

REBAG

For my bag, at first, I wanted to make a bag that is really big and stylish, which is inspired by the big Chanel bag. But, I could not find anything that would bend like how I would want to, so I just decided to make a normal, simple bag. I first started with a bunch of plastic bags from my form, a pair of scissors, iron, needles, and thread. At first, I cut the bag like I was instructed to, and where we would iron the bags together so they would make a “fabric” type of texture, where then I sewed it together with hand. I was supposed to use a sewing machine, but I thought that it would mean more if I just hand sewed it. I started with 5 flat pieces of plastic fabric, and 2 triangles which are gonna used for the handles. To make sure that I did not waste all of the plastic bags, I stuffed the handles with the leftover pieces and made it into a sturdy handle. The hardest part for me was sewing the bag together, as I had little experience to hand sewing, so this was a lesson I learned from the process.

 

Time: Sequential Recut

For my rotoscope, I wanted to make an animation taking about losing innocence. As everyone started their life as a infant, and usually infants are symbolic to angelic and pure, for they have naive characteristics and have no knowledge of the world. As one goes through the stages of growing up not only physically but mentally, while physically one becomes stronger, faster, and taller, but mentally is where one would grow controversially “stronger” and when the meaning of “stronger” comes in play to my piece, I believe that as one grows up mentally, they began opening their eyes and minds to the outside world where they were protected by their innocence. I wanted to resemble their innocence to a growing bud of a flower, as in relation to the second Buddha, who’s gain knowledge of the future and teaching the society to use the information of the past to learn about the fluid future. In using the symbol of that, I wanted to put it in my own meanings, as one grows up, he or she not only learn the good in society, but also the bad. And I wanted to show a girl who learned the worlds of the hardest hurdle, which is abandoned by the society. This could have a understatement of being casting out, feeling left out, or physically being abandoned by a loved one. This subject tests the question of “are people born with evil?”, because this is a question that was asked various times throughout my years of education, most of the times I never thought twice about the question because one, people can be born to be selfish and evil, but other times, I believe it is the influence of society that makes one evil.

The girl once learns experiences the past, she will use that information and learn about the “fluid future” as I learned a lot about in the Rubin Museum. During that trip, I have thought a lot about the second Buddha and growing in a Buddhist environment for 8 years, I believe that the future is literally fluid.

Too Much

 

Our intention for the ‘Too Much!’ assignment was to communicate our frustration with the dangerous and unfair child labor practices of the textile industry in developing countries. To do so, we collected 20 stuffed animals, other small toys, and a long gown from thrift and discount stores around Midtown, took the stuffing out of the stuffed animals, and completely covered the dress by sewing and gluing to it the deflated stuffed animals and toys. The dress symbolizes how shoppers at fast-fashion retailers like Forever 21 and H&M are exchanging the childhoods of garment factory workers for their desire to follow the fashion industry’s seasonal demands for new, trendy, high-fashion pieces.

Our idea for ‘Too Much!’ was inspired by the 2015 documentary The True Cost, which details the lives of low-wage textile factory workers in developing countries such as India and Bangladesh. A number of us had seen the film prior to brainstorming ideas for the project, and two of our groupmates’ activist art presentations in class about forced child labor and the dangers of fast fashion led us to connect their information to that in The True Cost. Upon further research, we learned that 170 million children around the world, roughly 11% of the global population of children, are currently engaged in child labor to make textiles and garments for the demands of consumers in Europe and the United States. Through further brainstorm and discussion, we decided we wanted to use stuffed animals and toys as our found objects, and after throwing ideas around, we decided that the one with the most ‘shock factor’ was the glamorous and somewhat morbid gown of deflated childhood.

Our group was confident in our ability to find a gown and childhood relics around town, as we had done research for where to find the items for inexpensive prices. However, neither of us were confident in our prior experience with a sewing machine, so we decided to hand-sew each stuffed animal to the dress. Additionally, our original idea included a train of stuffed animals attached to the bottom of the gown, but our restricted time, money, and sewing machine skills unfortunately limited us to just working directly onto the gown.

We resolved our issues with time and sewing experience through use of a hot glue gun to attach the all of the toys to the gown. Additionally, to make up for the lack of a dress train, we attached the excess stuffing all over the empty holes in the dress to create a more voluminous shape, emphasizing the number of childhoods lost to the demands of Western consumerism in the fashion industry. Lastly, though our limited budget only allowed us to buy around 20 stuffed animals, we seam-ripped them butterfly-style so they would cover a greater surface area on the dress.

If we had allocated more time to this project, our group definitely could have worked together to learn how to sew with a machine, which would have allowed us to create the dress out of toys and stuffed animals alone. However, our strategy of sewing the materials directly onto a store-bought gown was still an effective way to portray our interpretation of the art activism assignment, especially because the extra stuffing made the empty spaces of the gown peeking through the stuffed animals and toys less noticeable. Our group members all grew with each other as collaborators and artists through the making process; our constant discussion of thoughts and opinions strengthened our concept and led us to our final product, one we are all proud to have been a part of.

Rubin Museum

 

How can we use information about past narratives as we construct and reinvent the fluid future?

As I was born in a Buddist family, we went to a lot of temples and going to this exhibition, it really reminded me of back home in China, and their believes in the Buddist practice. As, the second Buddha, who was a teacher to the king and their people, as he could see the future as a gift, during the exhibition, I believe that it was meant for people to live through the present through meditation, as the future is fluid. The second Buddha taught the past to the society in order for them to learn from the past and expect what out of the future.  I learned the most at the Monument for the anxious and hopeful exhibition, as it gave me viewpoints of other people’s perspective of the future and their expectations for the future. Through past narratives, people often use the information that they were “taught” or learned, they construct the future which is fluid. And fluid, in my meaning meant as there are a lot of outcomes in the future, as which how you use your past.