Thesis: Quarantine Video Project
When classes were cancelled for the rest of the semester on March 12, 2020, my peers and I went into shock and denial, which lasted for days. We were suddenly displaced - within the next few days, my fellow senior classmates and I packed up our studio, said our goodbyes, and moved to different places. We were forced to part ways months before originally planned. Additionally, the Apparel runway show we all looked forward to in the 4 years we were at RISD (the only means of presenting our work physically) was cancelled.
Following a need for professors to implement new ideas and plans for remote studio classes, we were assigned a project that would help us understand how we can present our work digitally, under the circumstances of the "new normal". At this point I had moved into a temporary apartment in Boston with my sister - unlike most of my friends and classmates who moved back home with family, it was just the two of us, caring for ourselves and each other. While finishing up my collection, I started inadvertently developing a new necessary skill in quarantine - cooking.
Growing up, my mother was consistently a person who paid attention to cooking; if she wasn't in her art studio, she was in the kitchen prepping, cooking, steaming, baking, etc. She showed her love for us and for life through her home cooking. When I left for college, I realized her cooking was something I really took for granted - nothing else that went in my stomach felt as warm and wholesome. But, as I was a busy design student, I didn't have the time or place to learn to cook for myself like my mother did. It was only until I was forced to cook in quarantine that I really began picking up a lot of her culinary skills I grew up with.
So, as I began cooking daily the kind of Chinese foods my sister and I ate back home, my perspective towards my inherently cultural and nostalgic collection began shifting. The parallels between the clothing I designed and the food I cooked, both born out of memories of home, began revealing themselves, and I ran with it. This video walks you through the steps of cooking one of me and my sister's favorite dish of my mother's: red braised pork belly.
Music: "My New Swag" - VaVa (ft. Ty. & Nina Wang)
Shot by: Isabella Shen (sister)
Edited by: Rosa Chen