Helen Chenghui Zhang – 2017 Remember the forgotten

My thesis is about recreating my grandma’s memory by tracing back the development and globalization of
China in the past 30 years through her eyes. The various characters my grandma went through are the focus of
my thesis. By also using the fabric that she brought in 1980s, my collection is using the combination of
traditional fabric and new fabric to produce this nostalgic feeling. I want to create an narrative system by using
the timeline of my grandma’s life. Four characters that she went through between 1950s to 1980s. Growing up
in the south part of China, she was a farmer. In 1950s she went through culture revolution as an factory worker
and communist socialist. Then she moved to inner mongolia and live as part of villager towards the end of
culture revolution. With narration as my main focus in my design philosophy, my design aesthetic focuses on
using this tool of storytelling to make the audience understand the story and meaning behind it even more.

Remember The Forgotten:
I remember growing up with the earth.
I was very close to the soil.
My days were spent working the land
Finding comfort in the monotony of our daily tasks
I remember the freedom of the fields
Endless rows expanding on forever
I remember running through them
until my legs would give out
I remember the golden dawns
Watching my brother’s leave for school
My place was in the home,
Theirs was beyond our farm.
Inner Mongolia became our new home
The winds would scream through the valleys
I remember washing my blistered hands,
the dirt from the our long days caked underneath my fingertips.
We were brought here to empower the uneducated

Empower the worker
They told us to go to the city
The air felt thicker here
I remember the ever-present propaganda,
Fists raised in the air, everything gleamed red
The days blended into one
I wake up
I lace my boots
I put on my uniform
I was a soldier for my government
A fate I couldn’t escape

Everything else subsumes the greater purpose
But I had forgotten what I was fighting for.
Time eventually passes
And my memories continue to fade
But I remember our community
I remember the hope
Editorial Credits:

Designer: Chenghui Zhang @Chenghui_zhang
Photographer: Reven Lei @reven_lei
Alex Black @alexblackphoto
Stylist: Maria Montane @mariamontane_
Makeup artist: Dana Arcidy @dnarcidy

Video Credits:

Designer: Chenghui Zhang @Chenghui_zhang
Director: Alex Black @alexblackphoto

Cinematography: Emmanuella Zachariou @emmanuellazachariou

1st AC: Cristian Delvalle Caicedo
Production: Andres Sebastian
Drone Operation: Chiara Gerek
Hair and Makeup: Dana Arcidy
Edit: Isabel Montes

Model: Alexey Glebko and Svetlana Mukhina