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Senior Thesis Spotlight: Xuanzi Chen

Xuanzi Chen incorporates and distorts the inherent nature of things and brings a new interpretation to each object. Drawn to the fading tradition of the hand-made and connected to the beauty of nature, Chen sees dried leaves in the wrinkles of old fabric, the shapes and textures of trees in ceramic vessels, and autumn in the palette of her abstract paintings. She makes the buttons of the clothes by using porcelain, and hand-dyes the natural fabric with organic pigments to display her patient attachment to ‘making’ – a tribute to a disappearing craft. She sews the tea-dyed labels to the garments and attaches typewritten tags to mimic the fashion industry. Although the tags of the clothes don’t have any function, she leaves the audience to question the unwearable clothes and their own relationship with the materials, with how they view both current fashion and traditional making.

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