A BALANCE OF CONTRADICTIONS
The A.N.X. graduate collection is based on the idea of defying social stereotypes with an appreciation for heritage whilst embracing a new found sense of self in this world. The collection is largely influenced by my own background as a second generation immigrant – watching my parents struggle with building a new life for their children whilst also struggling with assimilating into a new culture and still retaining a sense of self.
This collection represents the dichotomy between assimilating into the ‘Australian way of life’ and retaining an understanding and appreciation of my heritage. Although I reside in Australia, I identify myself to be both Australian and Chinese.
This collection depicts my struggle as an Australian born Chinese citizen and understanding what that means to myself. The collection also symbolises myself breaking the mould held for Chinese immigrants in western worlds hence the use of graffiti and its symbolic nature of pertaining to rebellion and anarchy.
The collection also features graffiti work by a famous Hong Kong artist, the late Tsang Tsou Choi or the ‘King of Kowloon,’ which speaks out against the Chinese government’s oppressive measures on its people and the people of Hong Kong. With a large portion of my family residing in Hong Kong – this artwork hits home for my family with my cousin participating in the recent demonstrations and protests in Hong Kong.
My collection also features artwork using a family heirloom my late grandfather brought to this country, a Chinese calligraphy set. It also inspired me to create a custom 3D printed jacket made completely from Filaflex filament – a flexible TPE thermoplastic elastomer based polyurethane. By using the 3D printing pen by 3Doodler I was able to shape and sculpt my designs to create a one of a kind 3D printed jacket emulating the handwork that my grandfather passed down to me. The jacket although 3D printed – is extremely sturdy and very flexible – replicating similar attributes of regular fabric. It took over 60 hours to complete.
The collection also features pleated handwork, embroidery and custom artwork both digitally printed and screen printed onto natural fabrics. Additional texture from frayed hems and ripped pleats adds to the idea of my troubled mindset whilst maintaining an aesthetic that remains true to the A. N. X. ethos. Also featured are paint stroke textures made with my late grandfather’s Chinese calligraphy set – paying respect to my family’s heritage and my late grandfather.
Many prints featured in the collection pay homage to my Chinese heritage but also plays on the idea of hypocrisy and a thin balance of contradictions between my struggle to assimilate while maintaining my identity. This can be seen with the ‘NO GRAFFITI’ artwork written in both English and Chinese.
A key feature to my collection is layering of textures and layering of garments on each individual look. The many layers of clothing add character as well as emulating how there are many layers to who I am as a person. The collection includes garments true to the ethos of the brand allowing each garment to be worn by both genders, but for example, I created a backless tunic that could be also worn as a jacket that can be worn by both women and men. The non-conformist oversized designs enabled me to create elongated garments, which focused on comfort and a genderless look. Ancient Chinese dynasty clothing, the cheongsam and the Ming dynasty royal clothing also inspired me, paying homage to my Chinese heritage with a modern twist.