The First Monday in May Response


1Reflect on the research methods you see in the film: Which aspects of the Met’s fashion exhibition “China Through the Looking Glass” were researched? Which research methods and techniques were used for each aspect of the exhibition?

Do you think the research was effective? Why or why not?

A lot of research went in to ensuring the exhibition represented the fantasy of fashion while staying true to the Chinese culture. Both Vogue and the Met visited china to discuss the progress of the exhibition to gain feedback on the interpretation from those closer to the culture. Research was done on the way the designers incorporated traditional Chinese inspiration into their work. The whole process was very collaborative and went through many phases of people who edited, added, and expressed concerns and ideas. I think the research was effective. The result was an extremely successful show. The space was a dramatic fantasy without leaving a “Disney” impression. It expressed its purpose throughly and successfully: The was fashion can bring two cultures together.

2An important theme in the film is the wish to avoid cultural appropriation and the desire to be respectful of ancient Chinese art and design. Do you think that the curators were able to avoid cultural appropriation and present an in-depth understanding of the topic? Why or why not? How did they do so?

I think they did a fantastic job. I think that had they kept the dragons at the entrance they would have bordered on the line of inappropriate however this was removed in the editing process. They met with Chinese influences to rule out any unthought of accidental cultural appropriation. I believe the work they showed had depth, understanding, and influence on the way the culture will be viewed going forward.

3Write 5 research questions that you think the film is exploring. (questions that start with “why” or “how”).

1.) How does Eastern culture coincide with Western fashion?

2.) How can past cultures influence the modern world without being lost?

3.) How do people in western culture view the Chinese culture?

4.) How can fashion become art?

5.) How has the way western film portrays Eastern culture affect the way the culture is viewed?


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