From the Department of Social Customs were a series of three life sized ceramic Cheong Sam (a traditional Chinese dress for women) made from earthenware. The dresses were purposely made in an unwearable material to represent my own feelings of dislocation towards my upbringing in Australia and being of Chinese heritage. I created three of these dresses to represent one for myself and my two older sisters. The dresses are a metaphor for the cultural expectations from my Cantonese family and community that I should behave as a Chinese person, even though I was brought up in Australia and the conflict that this causes internally. I attempted to create the works to appear as antique objects of the past, to represent how the values and expectations of culture are of a past era, thus showing the displacement and the role in relation to my contemporary body. The dresses act as a metaphor for the discomfort I felt as a younger women, attempting to find my own independent identity in Australian society.
This work was exhibited in the Rewedged exhibition, Global Gallery, Paddington (1997), the Millennium Hotel, Kings Cross, Sydney (1998) and was featured on the cover of Dr Hazel Clark's publication on Chinese Dress (1998) published by Oxford University Press.