IS1 – Intro to Research, final project: Beneath the cloth

  • In this project, we are asked to create a work about stereotypes which is going to apply for Genius Grant. My project is called “Beneath the cloth” which serves the purpose of provoking people’s awareness of stereotypes once again. My target is the stereotype in general because I start to notice people become less and less sensitive about stereotypes which are awful because it means we begin to think stereotypes are normal unconsciously. And this will lead to the tragedy that we start to ignore the sickness and wrongness of stereotypes, as well as the pain that victims of stereotypes go through. The final of this project will be a collection of these works that each one of them targets a specific stereotype display together in both public and museums, and I believe this fulfills the requirement of the Genius Grant Proposal. And in order to have a deeper understanding of my project, I looked up lots of phycological articles and datas to first understand what is the root of stereotype.


    I document the process of my making progress in three parts–Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. The reason I want to display it like this is that due to the specialty of my work, during the making progress, my mind was continually changing,  and I believe by documenting the process this way,  they can tell the story of how I developed my project more consistently.


    Week 1

    (Reflection of week 1 on Dec 15th, 2018:

    The contribution of week 1 is I built up the base of my project. I wouldn’t have known how much my idea of this project changed in week 2 after discussed with both Professors. But I glad I start the project this week so that it buys me more time for the final. )

Base on the specialty of my project, instead of doing prototypes for my final, I actually start with doing my final piece. The basic structure of my work is a suit which has been reconstructed by me. I believe this part is successful because it is well balanced right now. It breaks free from the traditional idea of how a suit should be which can be seen as a hint of breaking free from ‘stereotypes,” and the color tone right now is only black and grey. The simplicity of the base will be substantial support for more elements of identity and stereotypes which I will add on top later. I learned that most of my work needs to be hand sewing cause the machine can’t do the job for me. And I will then designing elements that go on top of my suit and will test what will be the perfect arrangement for my work.

Besides that, I have made some elements, and I believe so far, all of them look successful to me. The first type I made is a pair of breasts by using tights, swatches, hot glue, and size tag. The reasons I believe they are successful are because they do indicate the shape of the breast, and they contain the message of the male gaze, certain stereotypes, and races. Besides that, I did two types of fabric layering. They are successful because of both of them fulfill the job of indicating colorful, complicity, and the depth of human being inside. But one looks more spontaneous while another one looks more concrete. And I learn that I need to think before making. Because all of them I have to do in the right order, or else I will have to tear it apart at some point and make it again in order to make it right. And I will continue to develop elements to enrich my work.

The only problem I met back and forth was that the arrangement of the sewing order was tricky. I often ran into the situation that I realized I sew something ahead of time, and I cannot finish other parts by sewing machine which must be done by machine. It’s frustrating. But the only thing I can do is to cut them apart and then resew it. Another way I can do so is by hand sewing. And I choose to hand sew all the attachment part because they are tricky to sew by machine.

And because I was late this class, I haven’t had a chance to talk to the professor or classmates. But I will put their feedback here after I talk with them.

For the upcoming week, I will start to research more typical stereotype symbol and begin to make them by cloth swatch. Also, I will begin to collect objects from daily life and then add it to my work to create a chaotic effect.

I believe if I continue doing for next week, I can finish my project. And all I need to do will be final polish and touchup.


Week 2

(Refection of week 2 on Dec 15th, 2018:

For week 2, you can already observe that my idea of this project started to shift to more humanity aspect, I found a more specific direction rather than just stereotype in general, but I was still looking for a clear statement of what this project is really for.)

The stereotype I am exploring in this work is gender stereotype even though I’m doing stereotypes in general.

Conduct more research on your stereotype and consider what the psychological ramifications/consequences are.

My stereotype is the stereotype in general. According to researches I read, the reason of stereotyping is an inherent nature habit of the human. We, human, tend to gain and sense the value of ourselves by belittling others. This phenomenon is the root of stereotype. And after combining it with race, class, gender, it becomes hurtful than ever. So we can understand that the problem of stereotype is not about stereotype itself, it’s actually about us. As a result, I want to make all stereotypes as my target to alarm people the wrongness of this subject even from its root.

Without a doubt, stereotypes can hurt. Some hurt a little. Some hurt more. And the most seriously injured is that it can take someone’s life away. And the murderer will excuse him/herself by saying the victims are suicide so that it’s none of their business. Therefore, I’m going to use the body gesture of death(suicide) to provoke the consciousness of people.

From this research find a large audience you can direct your project towards.

Since my topic in general, and my project will be shown as an installation as well as ads and video online, my target is pretty much everybody.

After talking to Eric on Monday, he helped me open up my mind. I realized that because I want to make it all at once, it actually eliminated me to develop a more significant project. As a result, my new plan is to separate one model into a series of models, and each one carries a mainstream stereotype on them. I separate stereotypes into three types-gender, race, and class. As a consequence, I’m now building the gender one. And I will do the sketches of the other two.

Besides, he also suggested me to bring my object to the public, to make my installation happen in reality, and record the public’s reaction toward it. After carefully throughout of the whole record stuff, I came up with the idea that satisfies me. After doing the object part, I will bring it to the central park. I will hang my cloth to a tree as it’s a person hang to death. A party balloon will be the head of the person, and as I purge air into it, it will reach it’s maximum and explode. I will record the whole process and make an ads version of it.

So for this week, I finish 90% of my cloth, and I will do some touch up after I hear people’s critic. After today’s class, I will buy the balloon, and I will film it this Saturday.

What I worked on last week was making the cloth, and mostly, developing my idea. The challenges I ran into were I was consistently unsatisfied with my idea, and I had a tough time before I think it through. The way I solved this problem was by talking to my friends. Talking with them helped me clear my mind and further develop my thought. And my next step is to do the filming.

Include feedback received from your group critiques and your professor. Answer these questions:

What I heard in commentary from Bryan was cooperate it with other technique. It was helpful because it expanded my view of this project. I was going to do artwork, but now, this project becomes an installation, even a performance.

What do you need to research for the upcoming week? Write a brief statement about your research.

I need to do some research on how to tie the rope and video editing. Also, I will need to buy balloons in Partycity, and I will need to do a series of tests to see how can I achieve the result I want.

Time Estimate: write an explanation of what you will complete for the next class and write how long you think it will take you to do it.

For the next class, I will bring my object to the class. Besides that, a video of the performance will be shown as well. And a 15-30sec ads version of the performance will be presented as well.

  1. Week 3( Final week)

    This week, I finish my project, bring it to the public, shot the video, edit it, and do the final presentation. It’s a rushed and high-pressure week, even though I’m really upset about my final presentation because my condition is awful during that day and it makes my mind blank when I was presenting.

    Some significant change I made was :

    1.As I mentioned in week 2, I was stuck on a certain point during the making. And after talking with Bryan, my solution is only to use elements I have right now and create patterns out of it. As a result, I make a pattern out of milk cartons.

    2.Another point I made is taking the advice from Bryan to make it extreme. In order to do so, I brought a pot and two boxes of hot glue sticks. I melt them in the pot and pour it over my work to create the effect I want. The outcome is really cool, and the glue is milk-white color under lights, but it turns to a stunning blue color under daylight.

    3.The final thing I did is took the video and edited it. The purpose of this video is to show how the work is going to cooperate with nature. I did different versions of the video (different bgms, different effects), and I eventually end up with the one I present in the class.

    And I’m really sorry I can’t provide the pictures of my finished project installed in the Studio for the presentation and a photo of me giving my presentation. Due to that day’s condition, presentations in the afternoon went really fast in general, so I didn’t have a chance to install my work in ahead and took photos of it. And for my pictures part, I asked Juno to take it for me, but she must be too tired in the afternoon so that she forgot. 

    The final version link is:

    And here are other test version:                                                                    

What I learned from combining research with making a project was it allowed me to have more perspectives to understand my topic instead of just doing it all by my imagination. Data and analysis gradually became strong supports for my project.

What I learned about my content through this medium exploration was at first, I only saw my work as an artwork. But during the process of exploring the possibility of display it, I started to extend the form of delivering a message. It began from only one sense-visual to two-visual&audio, and eventually more, I realized that it could even become a performance. Besides that, it expands my understanding of art, even though I always know that all media are the methods of displaying art, but the experience became so different when I’m the one who is making it. I felt the life in each media, and how they are different from each other. Some emphasize the visual language, others emphasize audio or touch messages, etc.

Writing the Genius Grant Proposal was helpful for making the Studio project because as I was writing it, it helped me determine my mind, and kept track on what I was making. Because I’m that kind of person who comes up with ideas really fast, and my mind is continuously thinking and changing, therefore, writing everything down actually help me select the ideas that are developable and good.

What I learned about myself as an artist/designer during this project was I realized that I have the ability to build up the things I want. And I become more certain about my inspiration and passion about art and design–humanity. Before this project, I would never imagine myself melting packages of hot glue sticks in a pot in my kitchen and pouring it all over my work.

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