Final Project IS2 – Visual Culture

  • The topic you are researching in Seminar

How gestures and movements of female characters shown in the literature and film.(Focus on A Street Car Named Desire)

  • The specific message/content you are exploring in Studio

Derogatory words(Female)/Gender specific words(Female) in sign language, which involving gestures and body movements.

  • Explain exactly what you are making in Studio and the materials you are using.

I am making a wearable structure specific on hands. I am using black thin wire as my main materials.

  • Explain why you think the materials you are using are effective at supporting your content.

Initially, I did not think about too much about material, I just thought about something that stiff enough to hold the structure, so I started to play with the wire that I had. It is 24 Gauge- annealed wire. The thickness turned out to be perfect because it’s think enough and flexible to bend. Also I like the texture it created because I warp it for many times so that it could form to a much thicker wire with the texture shown. It also looks like barbed wire because the way I wrapped it.


April 2

Introducing the topic from the taxonomy. Brain storming about the final proposal.


(A couple approaches from initial ideas)


After the evaluation of these approaches, I wanted to create a play out of gestures and little movements to tell a narrative related to rebellion. I got inspired by the play called “A Doll’s House”, which I might research also in my seminar class.

Have no idea how to do this.

April 3

Talking session with Bryan at 9:00 p.m UC Library.

In the class we talked about my proposal again about the play and I found out it’s not working well due to the limitation that gestures have. Since I want to talk about a narrative via play, it’s hard to make audience to fully understand what I want to tell.

Then Bryan talked about sign language, and a group of words like:

Docile, receptive, open, vulnerable, tender etc. 

April 6

Came up the idea of wearable piece that has the notion of “limitation” and “force”. This piece would force the audience to make certain gesture, which compels people to understand something. I want to combine this idea with sign language.

Side research from taxonomy.

April 8 

First prototype (Fail)


So I started to create my first prototypes with wire, the material is very simple, I did not do much research on the material just worked with what I have but turned out very good. I stick with my sketch shown, which is to “restrict” my joint so that it would hold my hands completely but it took a lot of time and the final result did not meet my expectation because the connection is very weak with thin wire even though I combine several of them together.

Then, I got angry and started to wrap them over my hands and it turned out to be very good. I use the word “vulnerable” as my starting point.

Sign language “vulnerable”

Another prototype (works)

Then I created this, which functions expectably well. I like the simplicity quality it has and it held my hand very well and force people to do certain gesture.

April 9 Feedback day from peers and Bryan

Bryan talked about the notion of physical uncomfortable. That’ something worth me to explore more, so I add more texture on the wire so that the wire would scratch your hands while you putting in. It remind me of “thorns” which also referred to sacrifice like “The Passion of the Christ”.

It even furthers the meaning of this piece which how those words hurt people via the form of sign language.

I continued to work on my project, which I explore more sign language but targeting derogatory words towards women. I found there’s a positive and coherent connection between my final project and my previous projects especially linguistic diptychs. The intention of my work would brought up attention to minority (Hearing disability) and how they were hurt by derogatory words especially female.



April 15

Talking session in class with Bryan. We talked about how to display these pieces.

#1: Modeling hands but keep the model smaller so that it would fit the pieces.

#2:A formal display stage that I can put those on the platform.

Also how the “Instruction” would be, a series of photo from the sign language website. Or hands wearing these pieces.


Plan of the week:

Research more about “Passion of the Christ” or the idea of crucification.

Continue working on the piece, how many of them I should make (Thinking about at least three).

Try to photograph them, form the “Instruction”.

Figuring out how to display these pieces.


April 21

Revised previous one, adding more “indicator” to the combo one.

Thinking about making the fourth one but the problem is the fourth word I chose is “Cunt” which is gonna be the worst word. But American Sign Langue does not have such words and I can not find the gesture to represent that. Instead, British Sign Langue’s system has this word. The concern is I want it to be consistent, which only present one system. Otherwise I can choose another word or just stick with three of them.

Casting hands seem impossible right now since the limited condition due to 2 W and the alternative way has limited resource and support. Thinking about using self-drying clay but it’s hard to make a realistic hand without sculpting experience.

Waiting for laser cut lab rely due to reservation problems.

Side research on the “Crown of Thorns”, it has two meanings:

1.pain itself

2.mocking of authority that Christ claimed

I did not think about authority in the first but pain. I do not think this work has something to do with authority(maybe) or maybe authority in this piece could be people who can speak and pay less attention to minority which in this case stand for hearing and speech impaired person.

Now I have the word “Slut”, “Bitch”, “Whore” and (“Cunt”)

“Cunt”>”Whore” > “Slut” > “Bitch”

(the arrangement base on personal feeling)

After the determination of whether use cunt or not, I am going to put more “thorns” in to the piece and refine them again.

April 23

I got feedback from peers, they suggested that the “instruction” seems too commercial and should be more like a guidance or manual in the airplane. Adding more instruction signifier like red arrows.

Also I found it interesting that someone refer the texture of my piece as the fences you can see in the jail. The one prevents prisoners from escaping because of the fences were charged with electricity. Also the small pain when you putting on the piece feels like small current shock.

They agreed that my focus is specific, not either too vague or specific. And they can tell it’s about minority due to the gesture which is specific to people who have hearing and speaking disability.

Plan of the week:

Continue working on the project and start to working on the display shelf.

Considering about the instruction.

April 30

I added more “texture” in to the instrument and test with golden paint instead of golden threads. I started to think about adding “texture” to all the instruments but I was thinking ranking them up and the worst word get the most “texture”. Then I think about should I even rank them? Maybe I should not rank them since all those derogatory words bring harm to people. Anyway the result came nice and I will paint on those instruments.

It looks like relics!

For the instruction part, I gave up the previous attempts since I feel they are too commercialized and also according to Bryan and peers, a little biased. So in the photos provided, I blurred the gender aspect so that it would not be misinterpreted.

It is more instruction base and I think more clear. I got the inspiration from the safety manual of the airplane.

Also, this is another colored version but I chose the black and white one.

For the display devices. My peers suggested to hang those instruments up so I got inspired by the cross which is also an instrument of the Passion. I would not totally use the shape of a Cross since it’s too sensitive and easily misinterpreted. I only want to borrow the idea of the shape. I will work on that this week and to see how it looks and then update it.

The concern is that the idea of Cross might be too religious and I don’t want my piece has too much connection with the theology aspect since it would bring my intention to another way and also considered inappropriate.


For the concerns that Bryan had, I want to explain more about that.

Why only derogatory words of female?

The reason why I kept focusing on female is that I chose female as my research gender almost through all my projects. For linguistic aspect, I think female took more harm than male and those words are so gendered.

The instruments I created are trying to say that how those derogatory words transfer to physical pain. It brings pain to people who receive the words and also brings punishment to people who said these words.

For this week:

I will continue refining my instruments with more texture and golden paint.

Making the prototype of the display stage.

Continue working on the instruction and get it done.

I will have my instruments and instruction completely done by next Monday.

May 7

So during the week, I finished my instruction design and printed out two of them out of US letter size.

Also, I made the stand for the instruments.

For the instruments, I add more “thorns” into them and add gold paint on all of them.

The project did not go to another direction but I can feel that there will be a shift happening this week due to the context might be misunderstand. But I am not sure how can I make it less misogyny even though it’s absolutely not my intention.

Initially, I want to use clay or casting to make my stand but due to the wet lab conditions I found wooden cross-like stand might related my work better.

So actually the biggest concern is the problem with the misogyny. The reason why I haven’t change anything because I want to defense my work since I did not really see the problem so that I want to talk about that with others.

Since I haven’t put the meaning of the gesture up, I started to question should I put them up. And it raised a series of questions about

Do we are so used to saying such words? (When we say words like that, we do not even realize that because of we are so used to do that. So it’s like interaction with this piece, we just practice that without really knowing you are doing this).

Any minor changes that can resolve the problem of misogyny? (hiding some informations? changing some informations?)





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