Her Finger (2017)
This project presents a series of enigmatic artifacts hybridizing two eras of finger-related wearables: an ancient Chinese nail guard and a modern female stimulator. Chinese nail guards were originated during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). It was used as jewelry (usually made from gold and gemstones) worn to protect fingernails. For women, having extremely long nails was a sign of beauty and power. However, this fashion trend had restricted women from feeling things through hands. Nowadays, female stimulators are designed to enhance the experience of touch and facilitate the exploration of the internal body. By amalgamating the visual characteristics of the two, this project explores the history of female sexual repression through researching the cultural heritage of Chinese ornaments. Reviving this ancient jewelry through electronic textiles, the work seeks to form a poetic connection between ancient artistries, emerging technologies, and novel materials. The objects are made from silicone fabric and sculpted by fabric manipulation techniques. It features a flesh-like tenderness as well as refers to an uncanny association with sea creatures. Combining static beading parts with mechanical actuators, the objects exhibit various kinds of organically moving textures. Each object performs different rhythmic movements programmed by hand-embroidered microcontrollers.