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AP 3-D
NCPA-GUANGZHOU FOK YING HIGH SCHOOL | Guangzhou, ChinA
Yingjian Gao
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Dimensions: NA” x NA” x NA”|Material(s): I made this outfit using knit and recycled denim fabric.|Process(es): Using knits and recycled denim, I made sofa garments from bluetooth and shot fashion campaigns.|Curatorial Note: This student is rocking it! Smart, confident, bold, and insecure all at the same time. Documentation of pieces being performed is successful.

Student statement

What is the title of the chosen work(s)? If applicable, how did this work relate to your sustained investigation inquiry?
The title of my work is "Sofa Suit." I initially began with my nickname, "Sofa," and explored the relationship between myself and the sofa. People call me a couch because of my soft body.
How did you choose your inquiry? Did you change your mind as the portfolio developed?
The question I keep investigating is about the relationship between my pride and my body. However, as the portfolio evolved, I decided to shift my focus towards the shape of my body and express my pride in it. The “Sofa Suit” silhouette was supported by a 3-D foam model and my final product was a sofa dress made from knitted and recycled denim. I also researched Leigh Bowery's party wear, drawing on several more important elements: recycled materials everywhere and fancy dressing style.
What did you do to practice or improve your writing as your portfolio developed? Your writing includes your inquiry statement and written evidence accompanying images and works.
To improve my writing, I read numerous articles on fashion communication, which helped enhance my vocabulary and writing style.
What ways did you practice, experiment, and revise when developing your portfolio?
I drew quick sketches to capture my ideas and make them better. I tracked how I changed my work over time and wrote it down. I tried using the same material differently to make my art more interesting. My teacher said my art looks like it is all connected and shows my process of how I kept making it better, which was what I wanted to show in my sustained investigation portfolio.
Your work was selected in part because it achieved synthesis. Can you explain your intentionality in choosing materials and developing processes to further your ideas? How did your choices shape the creation or meaning of your artwork(s)?
I knew I wanted to make an installation of a sofa, but my goal was to be both an artist and a fashion designer. I carefully selected materials that aligned with my idea of the sofa and reflected wearable fashion. To achieve this, I researched the silhouette of clothes around the inspirations given to me by my artist references, including recycled materials and fancy party wear. I put the finished fabric samples on my body to get the material properties and make it so I would be proud to wear it. I experimented with installing a sofa and using it as a source for my silhouette. A 3-D foam model supported the silhouette, and my final product was a sofa dress made from knitted and recycled denim.
Does your work reference or draw on a contemporary or historical art-making style, practice, or tradition? If so, please explain.
I researched Leigh Bowery's party wear, drawing on several more essential elements: recycled materials everywhere and fancy dressing style.
How did your art teacher support you and your classmates this year? How did their support help you in the creative process?
Mr. Frels provided substantial support, from supplying the materials I needed for my creations to granting us creative freedom. At the beginning of the year, he told us: “There is no limit for you. There are no limits to art. So, break the rules!” This was invaluable for feeling good and confident in our creative process.
Does your school leadership (principal, assistant principal, guidance counselor, etc.) support your growth as an art student? If so, please explain.
I believe they did, but taking ownership of one's artistic journey is more crucial.
What is your advice to other AP Art and Design students?
My advice to fellow AP Art and Design students is to keep your energy up, perhaps with some coffee, and stay committed to your work, even when it gets challenging.
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The question I keep investigating is about the relationship between my pride and my body. People call me a couch because of my soft and fat body. I use the sofa to express my pride in my fat body. I'm experimenting with the installation of a sofa and then using it as a source for my silhouette.
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YingJian Oneal Gao