Witness Tree Project: Armor

  • WITNESS TREE PROJECT: A TERRACED WORLD FOR AN ARMORED BODY
    Piece made for Witness Tree Project: a collaboration between RISD's Furniture Department, History Philosophy and the Social Sciences Department, and Brooklyn NYC's Prospect Park Alliance.

  • While Han Chinese is the dominant ethnic group, making up for 92% of China’s total population, there are 56 officially recognized ethnic identities, each with their own customs, language, religions, and rituals. For centuries the Yi, located between the Yunnan and Sichuan province, have sculpted their mountainous environment into series of terraced paddy fields reaching up to 200 levels tall. This impressive landscape —cultivated exclusively by men— is often depicted as a symbolic motif embroidered across the collar, chest, and waist belt on Yi women’s clothing. The terrace motif serves to protect a woman’s fertility and is worn by young married women during festivals, weddings, and funerals. This garment, woven with cotton, cashmere, wool and silk fibers, is a modern interpretation of the Yi ethnic traditional dress.
  • CONCEPT AND DEVELOPMENT
  • INITIAL SKETCHES
  • PAPER DRAPES
  • FABRICATION IN WOOD
    European elm from Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
  • TEXTILE COMPONENT
    8 harness waffle weave + cotton, silk, wool and cashmere yarn + scrap wood sawed and sanded into blocks