The Project Reflection


“Hi, everyone, I’m Maggie” (as the most important step that Professor Derek taught us for doing a presentation) My name is Jing Xu actually. You can call me Jing or Maggie for short. I enjoy design for it is a perfect way to record life by taking inspirations from life and nature, and design makes it easier for us to explore the innermost part of ourselves. As a Parsons first year student, I am really looking forward the future Fashion Design study with each of you in Parsons.

Charlie Cairoli, an Italian-English clown, is the very beginning or my whole clown project include Studio final work and Seminar’s research project focused on clown’s change. It was happened by chance for each of the students was assigned to different circus celebrities randomly to make an introductory presentation. My character is Charlie at that time. Because of Charlie, I touched a whole new field based on circus from costumes and make-ups to different duties of performers. Fortunately, Professor Derek’s invited friend to our class was a clown performer too. The meeting with him connected the relationships between the clowns in history, which was something I did a lot of research because of Charlie, and the modern figure of the clowns today. And as the recently most popular horror film, IT, was focusing on the idea of evil clowns. I started wondering why the image of the clowns had changed so dramatically? How did it change?  I was driven by curiosity and put all my effort on this point in the research project. I not only learned how to use online library and database in order to obtain reliable articles and well-conducted analysis, but also watched several classical dramas and paintings related to the clowns. Although not all of these findings are shown in my final paper directly, they help built a clear understanding of the topic and arrange my thoughts in order overall.

In my research paper about the change of the clowns, I figured out the image of clowns undergoes several changes from the realm of art to hot social issues. And I explained this change in psychological angle based on the hypothesis of Masahiro Mori’s the Uncanny Valley. In the studio’s final project about the moving figure, I made a ring acrobat using wires mainly. The performance of this acrobat I made includes lots of rotating actions like being hung upside-down by one ankle while rotating at the same time. I want to show the struggling part of not only acrobats but also everyone in daily life. Just like the two sides of clowns, everyone will face diverse dilemmas and struggles. But that’s not the bad thing, like what I mentioned in my research paper, killer clowns sometimes even gain more popularity than the main characters. And struggling is not a bad thing either, it gives out beautiful performances and promotes us to be a stronger person in harsh environment. I appreciate the research project for it not only helps me develop a deeper understanding of my studio’s figure, but also explores my own thoughts towards life.

In a conclusion, I enjoyed the way how studio course and seminar corse integrate and cooperate. Writing improves the understand when making things, while making visualize the thoughts and concepts during writing. I find my personal interests towards black humor and the style of satire. Most importantly, the grasp of using databases  provide large assistance on my future study. Not future truly, I already used the database in my ESL class. And I want to explore more about two sides of personalities using collage or the media of watercolor in the next step.

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