Chapter 6 Amor


“When I was a child, I always thought that some day someone, like the knight in the fairy tale, would shield me from wind and rain, protect me from the abusers, heal my pain and give me happiness. However, after I grew up, such a person never appeared. Eventually I became my own knight.”

In 2019, the apperance of a person broke my day-to-day life. In just a few months he brought me happiness that I had never had in all these years. I thought the ‘knight’ had finally arrived and I was finally a “BéBé” with love. I tore up my diaries from years ago and moved into my dreamed new studio with great joy, thinking that I would start a new life without being alone, but then fate came at me with a sledgehammer again.

Maybe it was because I had my problems, maybe it was because he had his problems, maybe it was because we were each seeking different goals, or maybe it was just because love borns and dies is the most common thing in this world. We met, crossed and then separated far away from each other along our own life paths. After he left, the feeling of meaningless emptiness and loneliness returned with a vengeance. Had and lost, what I thought was the turning point of my life just plunged me into a deeper existential crisis.

I remember in early days we met, he said, “Maybe you’ll make a doll inspired by me in the future.” At the time, I was a little dismissive, thinking that my inspirations were larger themes, sweet “lovey-dovey” was not my style. But when it was all over, I thought I needed to do something to commemorate this experience.

The idea of making armor out of unconventional materials came to me back in 2015-2016. In fact, it was also inspired by the experiences from my family of origin.

Although it looks like gibberish, it is actually a record of inspiration.

Leaving these marks also provides traceable evidence of my work’s origins.

“Even without the protection of iron and steel, she will put on her own amor and fight for her own life.”

Besides the “fairyism” in the eyes of others, there is actually a touch of courage out of desperation.

It was originally planned to be a new series after the Alice series.  But Alice series took much longer than expected, 11 years from 2010, and there is still a last chapter unfinished. So the armor series has been shelved.

Once I had the idea, I started to collect references.

Like Alice series, I prefer to find inspiration from the first-hand source rather than modern secondary works.

Initially intended as a teaser to future armor series,  Amor’s original design was a long black embroidered gown in honor of “him and me”, paired with white armor on the neck, shoulders and arms. The focus was on the embroidered gown.

Amor’s original design concept

At the end of October 2020, I started the experiment on the armor that I had been thinking about for several years.

How to shape the common woolen and make the embossing that metal has, I had no predecessors to learn from, so I could only make creative explorations by myself. Inspired by the forging of metal armor, after repeated attempts and scrapping, I achieved satisfactory results. At that time, I jokingly called myself “whitesmith”. 

Through multiple processes,

a piece of soft woolen was finally transformed into hard armor.

The white armor is not overly decorated, but with embossed patterns and pearl rivets, it looks clean and impressive. However, “clean” does not mean “simple”. Hand-made embossing is actually very time-consuming. With the change of light, the looming patterns give people the feeling of “listening to the thunder in silence”.

I made the hand armor for five times. This is the third one.

When I put the arm pieces on the doll, I found that what I saw in the blank space was no longer a black embroidered gown, but a complete set of pure white armor. With the encouragement of a friend, I decided to follow my instinct and change the design to a full set of armor. This meant I have to do more research on armors and need more time to finish it.

However, to me, just a suit of armor made of unconventional materials didn’t seem innovative enough. Therefore, I designed a bustle in the back to give Amor a more feminine look. Unlike those who was born strong and powerful, she was not indestructible at the begining. It is the hammering of life that makes her both vulnerable and courageous. The butterfly on the bustle is the element that runs through the whole series, and at this moment the butterflies have broken through the cage and gained a new life of freedom.

After 2 months of working, with 207 pieces of patterns and 394 pearls, this set of all hand-made armor was finally finished.

At the begining, I imagined sending Amor to him when she was finished, “Look! I really made a doll inspired by you!” But as time went on, I gradually realized that 

He does not care, either . (bitter smile)

But that’s okay.

In the end, I decided to dedicate Amor to my friends who have supported me through my depression, to all the readers on the other side of the screen who have patiently read this far, to those who are still searching for love, and to the one who will truly come into my life in the future.

Amor is not only a memorial to the past, Amor is a celebration to the future.

to be continued

next: Postscript

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