MIAO LIU



Seaching for Hope, 2021. Fabric and thread. 12 × 14 in.
See Through, 2021. Digital photograph.

Lightweight, spongy, delicate, crystalline, and glassy, every piece of fabric has its own “personality,” and each one speaks a different language. The process of sewing fabric together is like human beings making new friends. A group of friends with different personalities will tell fascinating stories. In order to find each piece of fabric a perfect partner, we need to listen carefully to their voices.

Recently, one of my best friends’ experiences of being bullied in the workplace evoked my memories of being bullied in middle school. When we think of bullying, most people might think of a group of kids isolating someone at school. However, bullying is not only a problem among kids or teenagers. In recent years, adult bullies or office bullies have attracted more and more attention from the mainstream media. According to an online survey of 2,000 adults conducted by the American Osteopathic Association, 31% of Americans have been bullied as an adult and as many as 43% say the behavior has become more accepted nowadays. What’s even scarier is that adult bullying can’t easily be resolved with the same methods used for younger kids, such as getting support from family or telling teachers. More often than not, there is little you can do about an adult bully. Sometimes even reporting the abuse to a supervisor or HR won’t work.

As a fashion designer who played with all sorts of fabrics in different forms, I believe that fabric has a soul and can tell a story. My personal experience of being bullied inspired me to use fabric art to raise awareness. By cutting, sewing, and pleating fabrics with other materials in different forms, I want to bring attention to the dangers of adult bullying and get people to take initiative to help those around them who have suffered from bullying.