Just like what Nick Cave has said about his work Soundsuits, to me this project is a way of "lashing out". There were confusion, anger and then acceptance when I experienced misunderstanding and cultural difference. Even though technically I've turned the energy for hard feelings into curiosity and research by starting making the project, the emotions are still the motivation and inspirations that have been driving me forward. I want the power of this artwork to be the cure for me, and for anyone who sees it. No matter what they see is discomfort/confusion or something astonishing/touching, having this moment when a frustrated mind meets another, a broken heart meets another, could hopefully lead to the reconciliation with ourselves.
On Friday I had a great long talk with my classmate Justin from Fashion program. I consulted him on techniques and tools that could be used to make a beak mask. He gave me many good references and a couple of techniques in hat and bag making. He also shared some intriguing points of view like that fashion is more crafty than we think, and often times there is no rules of what's the right way to make something. He encouraged me to explore more on what material do I want to use and then look for techniques and tools accordingly. He also recommended me to go to Mood for fabrics. This is a really helpful conversation and I'm so glad I reached out to him.
In this prototype I used a piece of felt as the base which is thicker and harder than regular ones. My goal was to let it stay on itself so that I wouldn't need to make a frame, and it worked. Instead of using threads, I used the thin wire as thread to "sew" the two sides together. In order to make it more interesting, I used the reflective mylar again to make two circles on the two sides of the beak to make it more birdy.
This one looks more like a crow and a little steam punk. The cone shape is the best so far because the thick felt makes a good and stable base. The overall feeling of this one is more terrifying and reminds me of the mask during Plague in the 15th century. When I was taking photos I accidentally found this angle where I can cast a bird shadow on the wall. It's like another birdman standing behind me gives it a little mysterious color. When I raised my finger the shadow looked almost like the bird was saying "shhhhh" which makes a really interesting scene.
After the talk with Justin, I've also been thinking my unique role in this: What's the difference between me making it and a fashion designer making it? What would be my strength here?