​Adult Polly Pocket

PURPOSE

BA Year One Final Project

Location

London,UK

YEAR

09/2019 - 04/2021

Stage 01

Illustration Book

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<Office Version "Monster Mouse">

Stage 03

Online Exhibition

Toys need to be socially responsible. This is a project questions the enviable adult world reflected by toys like Polly Pocket. I want to use the contrasting concepts of "toy" and "frustration" to appeal to society that adults also need to be cared for and valued. Adult emotions are also entitled to be vented, especially during the current COVID-19 period.

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Adult Version

Stage 02

That raised an idea in my brain: an adult version of Polly Pocket, the toy for adults and a toy of reality. Because of the craft and technical requirements of this project, it has remained in concept.

And last year, due to the quarantine of the COVID, I decided to learn something new just like everybody else. I started to experiment with C4D on my own, trying to make a model of the vision in my brain. And finally, it was presented in this form, although it was quite basic and rough, it was an unexpected bonus for me.

<Jewelry Version "Cosplay Cigratte">

<Adult Polly Pocket "Behind the Scene">

We are just like these containers, mouse in the office or cigarette in bar.

The scenes and figures inside are reflections of ourselves outside.

The black humour behind these toys can be a great outlet.

Adult’s emotions are also entitled to be vented.

Life is not as beautiful as the Polly pocket world,

so there is no need to pretend happy if you are not.

Just be who you really are. And that’s all.

"We live in cities, moving through buildings. We walk out of the subway, go into the cubicle. We get into the cab, we jump to the dance floor...
Everything is so natural-- all is so granted. Until we were bombarded with messages telling us to "Close the Door", "Keep Safe" and "Stay Inside". All this turned out to be true. The meaning of time and the dimensions of life have changed as never before. We wait, fret. And we accept.


But we didn't stop and never gave up. Listen to the colors of flowers on the walls, dance to the rhythm of jazz with the clouds. It turns out that art is the collision of heart and heart in the air and will never be imprisoned by steel and cement.


So, remember this weird and wonderful time with I-N-S-I-D-E. You can witness, reflect and remember the hard time with us, and fight for the space that belongs to us, from inside to outside."

On 25 April 2021, my work was fortunate to participate in an online exhibition and received thousands of views. I wish this work could continue and pass on this energy to more people.

This project went through an interesting process, and I think it was the process that made the project meaningful. My initial concept was to create a storybook without a printed-out story in it. Therefore, people can create their own stories.

 

In order to test my story book, I lived with a family in Working for one day. However, the feedback is negative. The lady said as a mother, she actually wants toys that can let the kids play themselves as she paid for toys to exchange freedom. At the same time, the comments I gathered from internet shows similar result.

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My first work is a video. The choice of film as my medium is inspired by a project called “HX” by Cao Fei. “HX” is an in-depth, interdisciplinary study of the Jiuxianqiao and Dashanzi neighbourhoods surrounding the Hongxia Theatre. One of its outcomes is a science fiction film named NOVA playing in the old theatre room with the actual beach in the front roll. As video is also a form familiar to both eras, this setup gives me a deep feeling of time overlapping. So I was curious how it would be if I edited the scenes of the current 798 Art Zone in the style of a revolutionary-era video and put it on an old TV. In this way, I hope that young generations can feel the similarities between the two eras more clearly. Perhaps many years later, we will be the people in the video analyzed by future generations. This editing gives the film a strong sense of irony and serves as an output of opinion.

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<Screenshot of "The New Era of 798", please watch the intro film above>

The second form I made was a Tiktok filter. Compared to videos, filters are more interactive and allow the user to understands it on their own. As a medium, the filter is effective in connecting with young people and visually enhances reality. The format maximizes the period and the story, allowing the audience to move from being "spectators" to "participants," "performers," and ultimately "reflectors" in the process of participation.

 

The retired workers told me that they had to wear the uniform in the factory in those days. So based on the stories and the state of dress in the old photos, I made a male and a female version filter, including hats and make-up. Then I uploaded it to my phone using the Tiktok filters platform.

 

I used my filter work to run a street event.​ This activity also took place in the Dashanzi community, where we will photograph retired workers with the same filter to complete the time and space overlapping effect. 

The last part of my work was a set of posters, and I wanted to experiment with how graphic design would solve the problem. I drew up some sketches and logo designs to make them fit the theme. For the material, I chose to use transparent film printing. I wanted the transparent material to interact with the background and the environment in which it is located. The hidden factory is like a spatial cut-off, a reminder of the past.

 

I have made two versions, one original and one with the background image reduced to 29% transparency. Seventy-one years have passed since the factory was built in 1950, so how light is the 29% that remains? It has become almost invisible, just like people's memories.