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A soft sculpture study of image and reputation

This is an autobiographical piece I created during a time when I was feeling the pressures of achieving high expectations. It is a soft sculpture installation piece consisting of several cakes along with white cans and jars labelled with personal qualities that a well-rounded person should have. The cakes are placed on a long table and the table is scattered with sequins, which represent the different “ingredients” that go into making a cake. The cakes metaphorically represent the perfect girl. This piece is mainly a depiction of how my mother had many expectations of me as a teenage girl. It also depicts a tradition particularly in Asian cultures where mothers expect such qualities from their daughters and hold incredibly high expectations towards them. The jars and cans of qualities are the representation of all the different qualities the perfect girl should have. I chose cakes as my subject because I noticed baking is often viewed as a very feminine activity. The same applies to sewing which was why I chose to use sequins and glass or plastic beads as the actual ingredients inside the jars and cans as well as scattered across the table. The inspiration for this piece came from Liza Lou, Claes Oldenburg, and Wayne Thiebaud. The subject of this piece was inspired by Thiebaud’s paintings of cakes and Oldenburg’s pastry soft sculptures. Lastly, the setting of a typical kitchen scene and the sewing embellishments were also greatly inspired by Liza Lou’s installation piece, Kitchen.

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