she needs her

an immersive jewelry pop-up store experience

Duration

1 month, Dec 2020

Methods 

Graphic/ Visual Design, Installation Design

Videography, Photography, 3D modeling

Team

Emily Ho, Maggie Chan, Cherry Wu

Inspired by Eden’s Restoring Justice Jewelry Collection, which features cogs as a symbol of individual agents working together, the pop-up store experience explores how a mother and daughter’s relationship strengthens and empowers one another to endure hardships.
 

For this project, I led the brand identity, crafted and executed the exhibit graphics, and helped craft the storyline for the videography.

The Context

Eden is a non-profit organization based in Myanmar committed to reaching and rescuing women from trafficking and forced sexual exploitation in Asia. As a part of their restoration program, women are taught how to make jewelry inspired by each other’s stories and are paid full wages for economic empowerment. Our team was invited to help brand and curate a holiday popup for the Eden Hong Kong chapter.

The event featured their hand-crafted jewelry “Cogs of Justice” collection narrating the theme of female empowerment by celebrating vulnerabilities as a strength. The backstory of the design shines a light on how each step taken by Eden is a small cog moving toward changing a broken system. We were inspired by how each piece stems from a true story of courageous escape and lovingly handmade by rescued women.
This prompted us to design the exhibit through the lens of a mother-daughter relationship that shares similar notions of reliance, endurance, and encouragement.

The Making

To build an immersive gallery experience, we decided to harmonize realistic portrayals of the mother-daughter relationship using photography and videography coupled with symbolic graphics and ceramic pieces. The unique storytelling approach aims to create a space in the gallery for visitors to ponder on the emergent themes and to reflect upon powerful relationships in their own lives. Ultimately, our goal is to create a sincere routine in the gallery space that syncs with the narratives of the jewelry collection and the featured story of Yvonne and Natalie.

The intimate ambiance invites visitors to wander, pause, and reflect.

Curating the Story

By presenting the participants’ bodies as multiple and intersecting shadows and intricate structures to each other, the video creates a space where the mother and daughter’s identities are based on interconnectedness.

As a mother, Yvonne knew she had to fight through life’s difficulties–a divorce, cancer, and bankruptcy–for the sake of her daughter. As a daughter, Natalie knew her strength helped her mother to never give up. This interdependence between the mother-daughter duo is what continues to allow them to persevere through life’s hurdles.
Perhaps relationships are just like cogs; each action, each word, and even just the presence of one person affects another. No life can exist independently.

But for a relationship to be empowered in such a way, there must be vulnerability that opens up between two people. That is when one life can intimately impact the other. Ultimately, strength comes from the give-and-take in a relationship between two.

The She Needs Her short thereby illustrates a journey of perseverance, vulnerability, and growing understanding as the "cog" of love continues to stay in motion between the two allowing one to keep going while the other persists.

“What would it be like in a world where we see the interweaving motion of cogs in all our relationships – with those we know and those we don't?”

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Graphics and Ceramics

The gallery was sectioned into three parts, each featuring key visuals and a ceramic piece along with corresponding jewelry. The intent is to create opportunities for different dialogues regarding the “cog in motion” relationship to happen as visitors walk through the store.

Iterations of graphic forms depicting the interdependent mother-daughter relationship

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Strength: Openness breeds steadiness

Inspired by the interlocking structure created by the overlapping arms, the shape illustrates an intimate form of strength derived from the mother and daughter’s support for one another. By holding onto her mother’s hand, the daughter's arm acts as a natural extension. The arms crossing thereby signifies the interdependency in their relationship.

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Together: Interweaving forms interdependence

 

The opposite-facing mother and daughter profiles signify the motions of the cogs. Two interweaving forms eventually merge and become one, to grow stronger, to help each other standstill by bringing light to the shadow.

Like the movement of the cogs in a circular
and interlocking motion, the cultivated relationship is showcased through the
contrast of colors and their reflective nature.

Support: Contrasts yet compliments

The mother and daughter reserve a very part of their lives for each other, although being different, they support each other and persevere together through hardships.  

The asymmetrical pair of shapes mimic the mother and daughter’s contrasting yet cohesive profiles, while the complimenting curvatures connote a sense of compatibility and a desire to propel one another forward.

“Our relationship moves forward in motion
Tick. tock.
Like the delicate forming of a pottery piece. Each layer of interdependence builds a firm wall”

Meet the Eden Pop-up Team!

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