Maybe you knew me from the side of ‘delicate’, ‘elegant’ and ‘fashion’, but if you have seen my Alice in Underland series made between 2010-2012, you will know I am more than that. To me, ‘delicate’ is the base, what more important are creativity and thoughts behind the surface.
In late 2010, I was inspired by a picture of Venus flytrap. I thought I could make heart-shaped flytraps for a headless queen of hearts. Actually, I named my first porcelain doll ‘Venus’ not directly after the Goddess or the planet ‘Venus’, but after the Venus flytrap. Then in order to match the flytrap, I decided to make a green gown for the queen. Having seen so many RED ‘red queen’, I need to break the rules if I want to impress the audience.
However, beyond all my expectations, it took me 8 years to achieve this concept. As an untrained self-taught artist, I needed to overcome many difficulties both on the designs and on the technics, challenging myself to do things that no one had thought and done before. During that time, I was treated like an underdog by a fellow doll maker and was not supported by my family, so I was hoping to finish this piece to prove myself. Every time I thought how it looks like when the whole chapter finished, it felt so exciting that my heart almost lost a beat. However, this kind of hope eventually became heavy stresses, which made me disappointed and anxious. I was fearing I could not make it work, fearing all the years of hard working was just a 24-hour long topic on the social media, fearing my life wouldn’t change at all.
Luckily, I got support from friends really like me, and was appreciated by the expert collectors. And I finally understood it was not the only work of mine. Finished it is not an end, but a new beginning. Begin to let you know, beside those delicate fashion dolls, what’s truly I can offer. .
Although the shoes are barely seen in the full set photos, I did spend time designing them carefully. No matter the avant-garde shoes for the Queen or the ‘classic’ shoes for the Alice, they all started from the shoe soles: the Queen’s shoes has heart shaped shoes soles and Alice’s is spade shaped.
Actually, I don’t remember how and when this idea emerged. My target was to design shoes that no one had designed before. Then, in the long long process, it came to me suddenly. At the end of 2014, I started to build the 3D molds of the shoe soles, so the idea should come earlier than that. The rest of the shoes from the silhouettes to the details were designed based on the shapes of the soles. I kept improving the design til the end of 2017 and in March 2018, they finally became real. The soles were brass plated with 18K gold. It was my first time to try metal casting. I always like to try something new.
Just imagine if someone could walk on these shoes, they would leave shoe prints of hearts and spades with complex patterns inside. That is something I’ve never seen before.