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Textiles (MA)

Xiaochen Ge

Xiaochen is a pattern designer who grew up in Tibet, China. Her work focuses on Tibetan culture and traditional thangka painting.

While studying textiles at the Royal College of Art, she explored Tibetan culture through a combination of materials and 3D digital technology. Through multimedia digital technology she broadens the boundaries of traditional painting and develops themes of flow and movement.

Degree Details

School of DesignTextiles (MA)RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Kensington, Darwin Building, Seventh floor



Xiaochen at work

My work revolves around a traditional Tibetan painting from my hometown, the thangka. The thangka visualizes the central Buddhist idea of emptiness - "All natural things have birth and death, there is no eternal existence. Only one's own nature is eternal." Thangka expresses the nature of eternal existence by painting natural elements in their most perfect state of stillness, giving the symbolic meaning of "eternity" to perfect things.

I distort the life process of the natural elements to visualise the "moment". It forms a dichotomy with "eternity". To show the flowing state of the soul conveyed by the thangka. Relying on digital technology to create dynamic patterns, using modelling software and programming techniques, I combined 3D origami sculpture with kinetic patterns. Using wax and acrylic to turn the patterns into solids, the final work represents a combination of digital projection and physical performance to show the beauty of the "moment" from the birth of matter to its dissipation. It conveys a sense of Buddhist feeling.

I used digital software to simulate origami shapes, creating irregular round flowers and streamlined mountain shapes, and I made the flow and movement tangible by adding kinetic effects and gradient color patterns.
Origami structure in the shape of Buddha.
Inspired by the wind-eroded landscapes of Tibet, I combined the extinction of Buddha images brought about by the wind with the flowing changes of clouds to make an origami structure in the form of an abstract Buddha.
Wax sculpture
Digital technology is used to create dynamic patterns, and wax is used to turn the patterns into solids.
Wax sculpture and physical performance
The final projection is combined with a physical performance of combustion to show the beauty of the "moment" from the birth of matter to its dissipation. Conveying a Buddhist feeling
Acrylic flower sculpture
Using easily bendable acrylic material, we created a three-dimensional effect of patterns with overlapping effects, and used a projector to create a flowing environment that combined patterns and materials.