lotus shoes woven from ‘pink slip’ strips

lotus shoes woven from shredded pink slip documents

* The Pink Slip Project came into being unexpectedly with ‘pink slip’-type encounters involving unfounded criticism of personal job performance by higher-ups. Facing and responding to unfair and untrue allegations involved transforming these threads of communication that were persecuting personal values and work, and turning these threads into an expression of creative, positive venues. These venues have become the place for an evolving social interactive process.
* There are a number of artifacts related to ‘pink slips’ in these efforts. There are pink slips as paper documents that have been shredded into strips, the strips woven into replicas of the traditional lotus shoes that are hung as a pair against a wall.
* Many years ago, first hearing talk of ‘pink slips’ was heard as “pink slippers” – how cute, like a fairy tale. Fast forward to the current art work, and the pink slippers now also relate to two aspects of Chinese customs: ‘Being given small shoes to wear’ refers, in Chinese, to being treated badly by the boss. On the other hand, ‘Hanging up shoes on the wall’ auspiciously protects the dwelling [bi xie 壁鞋 ‘wall-shoe’ refers to bi xie 避邪 ‘warding off evil’]. Slippers are offered to guests as a sign of Chinese hospitality. To take care of the feet in traditional Chinese custom is to take care of the health of the entire body. Furthermore, the traditional foot-binding of Chinese women was a contradictory emblem of social status, not only a symbol of affluence but also, implicitly, the oppression of women.

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