Revive! Resurrect! Reincarnate! is a reincarnation ceremony for my former self, marking the start of a new future. Over the past three years, I experienced the loss of all my grandparents. Despite my eagerness, I was unable to attend their funerals due to COVID quarantine restrictions in China. Revive! Resurrect! Reincarnate! represents a reincarnation ritual for my life, a collection aimed at burying the grief of my past and embracing a fresh start.
To bless myself on the funeral — Chinese Knotting
I discovered a fascinating Chinese tradition of tying Chinese knots on wrists. These knots serve to ward off evil and bestow blessings upon the departed during traditional funerals. Inspired by this tradition, I incorporated Chinese knots into my garment construction, using them as a way to express my hopes and blessings for the future.
To resurrect from death — soil dye, plant dye and molds
In order to symbolize a resurrection from death, I experimented with fabric manipulation techniques using soil dye, plant dye, and molds. I explored the concept of reincarnation by starting with the pure outcome of death—dirt to bizarrely beautiful molds that grow from decaying organics.
I utilized red soil to dye a knotted top made of satin organza. In addition, I employed Chinese traditional plant dyeing and mud dyeing techniques on certain pieces. I used eucalyptus leaves (purification of negative energy), palmatum leaves ardour for life), and rosa chinensis leaves (hope and happiness) on chiffon, organza, and linen.
During my research on decaying objects, I stumbled upon the unexpected beauty that emerges when molds grow and form intricate patterns under magnification. I was particularly intrigued by the work of artist Kathleen Ryan. Inspired by her works, I incorporated beads into my collection to capture the visual effects of mold. Mold, to me, represents the hope for new life that arises after everything has come to an end.
To establish a new beginning
I incorporated tartan into the collection, as it symbolizes rebellion against established norms. This rebellious element represents the breaking of my former self, paving the way for new beginnings.
Furthermore, I wanted to challenge traditional gender norms. The notion of traditional gender is eliminated during my reincarnation. To achieve this, I designed kilt-pants that can transform into different shapes by altering the connection of various knots. This design element embodies the idea of fluidity and allows the wearer to define their own identity, free from external expectations. Corset and bra with the shape inspired by manjusaka ( the flower of underworld ) are put on men’s body to strengthen the non-binary idea.