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Photography and Wearable Art, 2020


Beaten and Forged

"Beaten and Forged" symbolizes the feelings of wanting to keep anyone and everyone away from your person and your heart and mind. The garment's base pattern was inspired by chest-plate armor and fencing helmets. The spikes were then attached to serve as a deterrent against interpersonal closeness.


Smithsonian's 2020 Hirshhorn Ball Challenge First Runner Up

Beyond the Veil

Capturing the constriction phase of the cycle of isolation, which is characterized by feelings of numbness and absence of identity. The figure stands, the veil fluttering–wavering in the stillness of a decaying landscape.


The mineral-like structure and iridescence of the vinyl forms a chrysalis that distorts the wearer's image and creates a barrier of self-preservation. Set in a bleak and lonely landscape, you could imagine a terrible and harmful ritual taking place.

After a traumatic experience, many people isolate themselves. In the months following a sexual assault while in college, I became increasingly introspective and isolated–questioning everything about my identity. Half-way through creating this series, our global pandemic lockdown began – effectively shifting the project from individual to collective as we all experienced self-isolation together.

This series of garments and photos are visual representations of the cycle of self-isolation. The cycle is made up of three stages: hyperarousal, intrusion, and constriction. In the hyperarousal stage, individuals are very guarded and on high alert, and they're likely to lash out with aggression.⁠ During the intrusive stage, it’s common to relive traumatic events in conjunction with graphic nightmares.⁠ Reliving a traumatic experience disrupts your daily life, making you stop in your tracks and fight your way back to reality. The constriction phase results in numbness and an absence of self.⁠


(To try it on instagram, use this QR code or search @danikwan in-app filters!)

behind the scenes

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