Erica So is a knitwear designer graduated from Central Saint Martins (BA Fashion) and Royal College of Art (MA Fashion) with seven years of working experience in both London and Hong Kong.
Her personal practice and dissertation are all inspired by Hong Kong’s culture and identity, combined with non-traditional mixed-media knitting techniques to create couture knitwear. During her life in London, she has gained several opportunities and awards such as: the UPW (HK) Sponsorship, Championship of the Porsche Design, The Last Mile Competition, Championship and the Most Sustainable Award of the Kering Group project, and has been a finalist of the IFF fragrance design project. Her dissertation, titled Hong Kong and Fashion: A Cultural History of the Hong Kong Undershirt, has also obtained distinction in her Master of Art degree.
Graffiti, written "Hong Konger", were being erased by government in central Hong Kong.
Knitting through adding and removing. — Knitted silks on domestic knitting machine to perform graffiti add on effect, and shaving the surface to perform the erasure affect.
Paper Toiles — Mark making process on body using paper.
Brushstroke — Knitted stripes using multiple yarns and hand embroidered on tulles to create brushstroke effects.
Placement — Mixed media knitting samples to mimic the smudge effect, using ostrich feathers, knitted stripes, beads and silks.
Power Of Erasure — Photography collaborating with Morgan Markey and Luqitiao Wang.
The mixture of beauty, fragility, power and anxiety during the protest.
The Hong Kong protests started in June 2019 and have had a great impact on my MA work, not only because they affect my emotions, but also because the protests have changed the environment in my city. Graffities on the wall are being erased and wiped out after each demonstration leaving behind leftover marks. There is plenty of street art and photographs that have been created during the ongoing protests. There is no doubt that this is one of the most challenging periods for the city since handover to China in 1997, but it is also an opportunity for the younger generation to fight for their needs and build up a desirable city. This will be an unforgettable time in the memory of Hong Kongers.
My MA works are closely related to my self- identity, Hong Kong-Chinese. Combining my emotion towards the recent protest with the beauty of Hong Kong and Chinese history, I draw inspiration from the change of environment in Hong Kong due to protests, combined with Chinese figurative elements, and express my sadness and anxiety through drawing distorted flowers, in order to create knitwear through a pleating and shaving techniques. I enjoy working on techniques and design through delicacy. All of my garments are semi-couture, and in the future I wish for them to be made to order, considering the sustainability of techniques and making, to produce less but high quality and unique.
---Special thanks to Morgan Markey and Luqitiao Wang for the amazing photography and performance collaboration. ----