My family is originally from Thailand, where nearly 95% of the population is Buddhist. Naturally, this religion and Thai culture are tightly intertwined. I was born in Thailand but raised in the United States. And although I was raised in middle America, my parents were determined to raise me to be a “proper” Thai girl, following traditional Thai culture and values. Therefore, I embrace both cultures.One major aspect of Thai culture is the concept of “saving face,” because public image is especially important to Thai people. “Saving face” means going through great lengths to avoid confrontation so as not to embarrass yourself or other people, not bringing up negative topics in conversation, and not talking in an aggressive manner. With my upbringing, it has always been my understanding that this also meant not outwardly showing signs or expressions of negativity. Oftentimes, that means that I will laugh or smile when I’m in a state of discomfort.
However, on the other end of the spectrum, a popular Western idiom is “wearing your heart on your sleeve,” which means displaying one’s emotions freely and openly. It is believed that this phrase may have derived from Middle Ages jousting matches, where knights wore ribbons of the women they wanted to attract on their sleeves.
As a result, the concept for Citta stems from my complex relationship with being a part of two opposite cultures, making it a highly intimate piece. Citta is related to Thai culture because it allows wearers to outwardly express negative thoughts displayed on an LCD screen, while “saving face.” The final project is also related to Western culture because the thoughts are displayed for all to see. Thoughts are activated by soft buttons within a wearable glove.
Here is a video of my final prototype:
For more information, here is my final paper: MFADT-Final-Project-Paper-Paweena.