Audrey Chiang


Class of: 2024

Major: Integrated Design BFA

Medium: faux leather, cotton trim, interfacing, metal eyelets, Chinese knotting cord, zipper

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: The assignment was to create a 3D object which demonstrates your connection to a community that you identify with.

The community I have belonged to since birth is the Asian-American community. The membership, as well as the traditions and the history, were inherited through birth. We were never given a choice of inheriting racism against our community. The recent attacks on Asian- Americans have been appalling. It has been heartbreaking and frustrating to watch our elderly be attacked because of ignorance and racism brought on by Covid-19.

I never understood how someone could be hateful against something no one can control. The color of my skin and the shape of my eyes do not inherently say anything about me. For this project, I wanted to show that there is beauty to being an Asian-American and being Chinese, but also that we as a community are strong. Beyond the color of our skin and perceived stereotypes, there is so much more to us and our culture. We, the Asian- American community, are slowly learning to speak up and protect ourselves.

I created this top inspired by the traditional Chinese qipao dress with a faux leather twist to share a piece of our culture and the resilience we share. The black and red colors are signifiers of strength. The arm cuffs are inspired by the armor worn in many different cultures across history to protect your arms during combat. I wanted to attach the strength of armor to my qipao without completely compromising the authentic design.

I am hoping that my piece can inspire more people to stand up for the Asian-American community. We are stronger as one.