Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence and contribution to the program, Master of Fine Art.
RESTITCH THE FAMILY TIE.
My practice uses contemporary enamel jewellery to explore emotional states related to childhood trauma, self-protection and family reconciliation. It alludes, in particular, to the personal pain of growing up with traditional Eastern cultural norms.
I have lived in Australia since 2013. I visited my family members in China yearly until the COVID-19 pandemic prevented my travels. This experience of separation and nostalgia urged me to re-examine and reflect on my lost childhood and feelings of alienation.
Restitch the family tie was partly motivated by my desire to confront my past. The desire to fix, and to forgive and reconnect with my family was expressed through therapeutic processes of stitching, fixing and layering. Repetitive, time-consuming enamelling is a metaphor for fragile yet tough experiences. Delicate copper mesh is used to symbolise the vulnerability of childhood. I employed enamelling and sewing to create vein-like forms and knots that could be interconnected to form solid chains. The colour red recurs as a vital representation of inescapable blood connection. By making chain forms with copper mesh, textural enamel and red thread, my project reveals the lightness and heaviness embedded within familial ties.