Media: Speculative object design
Object Materials: Silicone-made fabric, pearls, DIY micro-controllers, mini rotation motors, vibration motors.
Object Dimension: around 6" (L) * 2" (W)
This project presents a series of enigmatic artifacts hybridizing two eras of finger-related wearables: an ancient Chinese nail guard jewelry and a modern female stimulator. 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. It explores intersections between external and internal, decorative and prosthetic, restrictive and pleasure-seeking.
Reinterpreting culture heritage 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 obtains a flesh-like tenderness and refers to an uncanny association with sea creatures. Combining static beading parts with embedded actuators, the objects present various kinds of tactile and organically moving textures. Each object performs different rhythmic movements programmed by hand-embroidered microcontrollers.
Historical background of Chinese fingernail guards:
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.
In terms of technical explorations, this project combines traditional handcrafting materials with electronic textile techniques. The objects are sculptured by different fabric manipulation patterns and automated by embedding in mini-sized actuators. To see more detailed research processes and results, please click on here.