Helen Ren

The "Trapped" Porcelain

Class of: 2027

Major: Design and Technology BFA

Medium: Sculpture

Faculty: Linnea Paskow

Prompt: Make a piece in response to the artist you most dislike from the WHITNEY BIENNIAL using one of the four labs (Laser Lab/Printshop/Wetshop/Design Lab).

My work represents the suffering and lack of freedom of women in marriage. Women’s bodies have been commodified and can be traded as products based on their reproduction and sexual value. Using a visual metaphor, I see the woman’s body have similar properties as the antique. A blue and white porcelain is bought for its collection value. In ancient Chinese marriage, a wife is chosen and bought for its sex and reproduction value. That’s why I made a porcelain mimicking the shape of a pregnant woman. I also made a box that looks like the traditional Chinese wedding chair—a sedan chair. Usually, an antique is locked in a nice box to secure it. Once a woman enters marriage, she needs to be submissive to her husband and lose her freedom. Marriage is the box that locks women. I want to convey that idea as well;