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Get to Know our Student – Joe

I was born in the beautiful coastal city of Dalian, China. My parents have always had a strong Christian faith and influence on me. After finishing high school, I studied Christian philosophy and history. I intended to go to Geneva College, a Christian university with a long history but circumstances changed my mind. “For we are God’s  handwork, creating in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Ephesians 2:10

When I was getting ready to go to the United States, I read a famous American priest Francis Schaeffer’s biography. The book revealed that a Christian should make the testimony for the glory of the Lord in all fields. This left a very deep impression on me.

While reading another book called The History of Beauty and The History of Ugliness, I felt the contents of the book to be like a movie, like a trip that was taking me through history and making me appreciate ancient Greek, Roman sculpture, architecture and paintings. The line between beauty and ugliness triggered me to analyze the existence of two opposing things in the world, and to learn how to see this era in a holistic way.

I was also impressed by another book, the valuable lecture materials of R.B Kuiper. This book highlighted the relationship between Calvinism and art. This helped broaden my horizon and enabled me to apply this theory to practice in the field of art.

In recent days, I have been interested in learning about Japanese culture, especially about Japanese fashion designer YOHJI YAMAMOTO. Black is always the theme of this Japanese designer. In 2011, My documentary “YOHJI YAMAMOTO: This is My Dream” explained the significance of black to him from the first-person perspective. When he released his first collection in Paris in 1981, when the world was already shrouded in black, he said, “I have a judge in my heart who will judge me at any moment.“ Exaggerated cuts and inscrutable deconstruction constitute his distinctive costume colors, and this documentary once again conveys YOHJI’s attitude towards costume design: I am not really keen on fashion, I am only crazy about tailoring, and in a general sense, fashion making, to me, is just like simple life.

YOHJI YAMAMOTO is my respected predecessor, but the clothes I design will start from the standpoint of Christian philosophy and explore how to integrate Christian philosophy into my design, constantly challenging people’s hearts, just like the judge who always gives YOHJI YAMAMOTO a beating.

The reason I’m interested in fashion is that it is a platform I can express myself through, through my designs. I can express my view of the world and of human nature. I always thought that the relationship between fashion and art are inseparable. I can put Christian philosophy and literature into my designed clothes, I think this is the biggest driving force to push me to learn fashion. I also enjoy photography, so when I have a unique understanding of fashion, I will choose to go to luxury stores to communicate with the shop assistants and take precious photos. Recently, I am studying the clothing style of Dior and practicing sketching. I think the styles of Channel and Dior will greatly influence my design style in the future .