Heejoo Gwen Kim

animated filmmaker :: new media artist

Unwearable functional garments II: for three princesses

Unwearable functional garments II: for three princesses is a single channel 3-d animation based on portraying the redesigned and reconstructed garments for three princesses: The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and Cinderella. They are the fairy tale characters who have their own dilemmas. The motion of fabric and design of garments reflect their predicaments and longings. The garments are synthetic and unwearable, but simultaneously they are delivering their fervent perplexity through artificial organic forms and gestures. Each garment is expanding and contracting. They are inhaling and exhaling, and floating and emitting. I specifically conceptualize the sentimental aspects of the stories. The sound track starts with a voice of little child from the classic opening words, “once upon a time...,” and gradually reveals the part of the stories we have hardly paid attention to. I chose excerpts from the sentences and words that manifest the crucial contents of the each fairy tale. In this piece, I re meditated the sorrow and serenity of the stories by manipulating imagination.

The realm of a fairy tale is filled with peril, tragedy and jubilance. Even though most of the stories wrap up with a dramatic happy ending, the characters, mostly princesses, come up against situations with uncertainty and vulnerability. Moreover, The Little Mermaid, written in 1836 by Hans Christian Anderson, which has a different ending from the Disney animated movie, contains the mournful catastrophe that children could ever read at such a young age. The influence of classic fairy tales has been examined by edification and themes. They have been passed down through generations and have been an important part of different cultures and individuals. They also present lessons from the problems and emotional wounds as well. Besides, they alleviate and enhance social obstacles and complications in every culture.

At other levels, I have been attempting to solve the limitations of tactile material and space. Temporal and spatial restrictions confine the eidetic vision I take in daily experiences. My practice begins from the craving to overcome this tangible confined reality through technology. The virtual domain is one of the ways to emancipate the perspective from the physical environment. Computer generated three-dimensional objects and spaces are the substitution of real materials and surroundings with more possibilities. In this unreal territory, which only exists in the digital realm, I integrate pneumatic pressure, construct fabrics, and configure shapes and textures. I manipulate air and liquid, gravity, light, material and any movements of the objects.