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Fashion (MA)

Jialin Feng

Jialin Feng is a knitwear designer who hails from China and is fascinated by the exploration and feminist work of the ancient Chinese script 'NuShu'. the origins of NuShu are indeterminable, but it is used by women, created by women and passed on by women. Jialin believes that NuShu is an important medium for the expression of her feminine thoughts.


My mother always taught me to be chaste, to be graceful, to be beautiful, otherwise I was not a "woman".

Women are conditioned to be women. The patriarchal society demands that women remain beautiful, modest and delicate, and encourages women to spend a lot of time and energy on maintaining their beauty. Women are expected to remain "chaste" for an unknown man, otherwise they are "unclean" and "ungentlemanly". Society sets the box of "manliness" and "femininity", and those who do not fall within the box are seen as "outside" the norm, as "other". They are considered to be "outside" the box, "other", and are directly or indirectly sanctioned by society. The ideal image of women is a gender ideology constructed on the basis of male-centred thinking, which subtly maintains the established gender system by trying to make women consciously and actively comply with this constraint, which is in fact a form of 'implicit hegemony'. Women are socially conditioned to look beautiful as a criterion for 'loving oneself', and when they do not fit the template of 'grace, gentleness, beauty and modesty', they are criticised, ridiculed and labelled in a derogatory way. "The 'woman template' is a tool to keep women in their current sphere, a template that serves its purpose when women try to box themselves into it for fear of being labelled bad, when they conform to it and give up fighting for some rights and benefits.

The mother survives within this template and she wants her daughter to be free from criticism and blame as well, so she teaches her daughter the rules of the template that society has imparted to her. Although the mother teaches out of love and good intentions, she also demonstrates the implicit and subtle oppression of women by the 'woman template'. I materialise this implicit oppression and show it on the body.When individuals wear the long, tubular fabric woven with the “Xun Nu Ci" in NuShu and attempt to walk, they will discover their bodies being restricted.

Walking with a drag
Xun Nu Ci 《训女词》
Xun Nu CI translation
fabric 03
Fabric 02
After walking
fabric 01
Lenticular Knitting & devore Nushu
Lenticular Knitting 01
Lenticular Knitting
Lenticular Knitting 02
Hiding my name in the fabric