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This project explored the original cultural, social, and value purpose behind the classic fairytale. According to the understanding of our environment and the social issue, we integrated a new meaning and a new way to express the information.The challenge of this project was to extract a new society-based and culture-based metaphor and convey to the contemporary audience.
The story inspired me was The Ugly Duckling written by Hans Christian Andersen. A lot of stories of Andersen reflected Andersen's own life. The story of ugly duckling was one of them. He was different and held by others’ rules and standards, but he pursued the world he belonged to. Not only the time that Andersen lived in, nowadays, there are still a lot of people are defined and affected by others. Especially in the oriental culture, the environment I grew up in, children are taught that you should do this, you shouldn’t do that; they are told what kind of person they are; they got their “portrait” that others drew before they saw themselves.
I made the Self Portrait Calendar. People interpret the ugly duckling in different ways. With this calendar, I don’t want to just encourage kids like those interpretations “trust yourself, you will be a beautiful swan.” Or something negative like “don’t waste your time, you are just a normal duck! ” What I want to tell them is that you don’t have to be the excellent swan that others want you to be, but to know yourself and find your own niche. I hope that children could objectively evaluate themselves and recognize the relationship with other people and with the environment.