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Multifaceted Immersion: Exploring Experiential Pathways to Miao Textile Art

In the modern complex era, the practices and research of traditional craftsmanship and the quest to preserve and safeguard intangible cultural heritages (ICH) face new opportunities and challenges with the prevalence of technological innovations. My research subject, Miao textiles from southwestern China, is a shining example of ICH, weaving together oral traditions, community practices, and artisanal skills into vibrant patterns and colours of cultural diversity. As a fundamental approach to popularising the vibrant culture, Miao ICH's exhibition and artistic expressions struggle to engage the public due to the deficiency in incorporating Miao textile ICH research into a more versatile academic discourse merging with advanced tools of immersion. This can potentially cause Miao textile knowledge to become marginalised and even outdated.

Therefore, in pursuit of rejuvenating Miao textile ICH and enhancing public engagement in ICH-themed artistic experiences and exhibitions, I am embarking on an interdisciplinary journey. This exploration aims to uncover ways to cultivate a profound and multifaceted contemporary appreciation for Miao textile ICH among the general public, facilitated by immersive artistic experiences and exhibitions. The design of this experience is steered by a curation methodology that aligns with wider academic and cultural discussions. This methodology emerges from a blend of renewed theoretical perspectives and textile practices across both physical and digital realms, integrating insights from Miao Textile ICH, textile thinking, immersive technologies, and theories of immersion.

The research will use a qualitative approach incorporating Autoethnography and Embodiment theory with a practical component of textile making, digital curation, and mixed-reality experiments.

The transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research falls under the umbrella of and primarily contributes to digital textile ICH, visiting versatile disciplines of textile thinking, digital art and humanities, narrative environment, and Human-Computer Interaction for Development (HCI4D).

The potential value of this research lies in its ability to advance and theorise Miao textile practices, thus deepening the connection to Miao textiles. This research will expand academic knowledge in digital humanities and create a bridge between Western textile studies and Eastern practices in the textile domain. The research offers a novel approach to safeguarding and revitalising Miao textile ICH. This approach allows for safeguarding and rejuvenating other ICHs, fostering a broader understanding and preservation of diverse cultural heritages. Moreover, the study has the potential to enhance societal awareness of cultural diversity, introduce new perspectives in the arts industry, and stimulate creative economy sectors by blending heritage with digital innovation.


More about Mi

I am a London-based PhD student at the School of Design, Royal College of Art. Dedicated to pushing the boundaries of textile research through innovation, my cross-disciplinary work focuses on the modern interpretation of textile art and craftsmanship, especially intangible cultural heritages, employing immersive theory and technology.

With an international academic and professional background in Beijing, China, New York, the United States, and London, Great Britain, I hold a Fashion Design bachelor's degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, receiving both the Excellent Graduation Design and Thesis awards for ranked first place in the Fashion programme. I earned a master’s in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute, New York, distinguished as "Most Likely to become a Rock Star."

My diverse professional journey spans roles as a fashion designer, researcher and analyst, branding and marketing specialist, art curator, business developer, and entrepreneur in the art, design, and culture industries. I have worked for industry-leading companies and organisations such as Beijing Poly Art Company Limited and Jason Wu LLC. I founded Butterfly Effect, a cross-cultural communication project to popularise textile intangible cultural heritage in New York, and Misha Lin Studio, a designer outdoor sportswear label for skiing enthusiasts.

PhD Student in Textile Design Research, Royal College of Art, London, U.K., September 2023 - Present

MPS in Arts and Cultural Management, Pratt Institute, New York, U.S., August 2016 - May 2018, GPA: 3.82/4.0

BA in Fashion Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, September 2011 - July 2015, GPA: 3.93/4.0

Work Experience

Marketing and Business Development Director, UK Tsinghua Association, London, U.K., December 2023 - Present

Founder, Brand Manager & Design Director, Misha Lin Studio, Beijing, China, November 2020 - Present

Intern, Textile Department, Jason Wu LLC., New York, U.S., June 2018 - December 2018

Assistant to the Director of Marketing, Wonderworld Interactive Exhibition, New York, U.S., June 2018 - December 2018

Manager of Design & Operation Assistant, 180 Creative Gallery, New York, U.S., October 2017 - May 2018

Business Development & Project Planning Officer, Beijing Poly Art Contemporary Limited, Beijing, China, November 2019 - November 2020

Project Experience

Organiser & Team Leader, Butterfly Effect, New York, U.S., June 2017 - May 2018

Research Member, The Crop Cycle, New York, U.S., November 2017

Researcher & Designer, Adorkable Tiger, Beijing, China, January 2015 - June 2015

Most Likely to Become a Rockstar, ACM Program, Pratt Institute, 2018

Adorkable Tiger, The Excellent Graduation Design Award, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, 2015

The Application of Chinese Folk Tiger Patterns in Fashion Design, The Excellent Graduation Thesis Award, Tsinghua University, 2015

The Friend of Tsinghua Fashion Scholarship, Tsinghua University, October 2015

The Outstanding Literary and Artistic Scholarship, Tsinghua University, 2011-2012

Butterfly Effect, 180 Creative Gallery, New York, Team Leader and Curator, 2018

SOFT BODY, Digital Art Installation, Aranya Gold Coast Community, Qinhuangdao, Beidaihe, Beijing Poly Art Company Limited, Business Development and Project Planning Officer, 2020

15/16 Fashion Show—Tsinghua University Academy of Arts & Design & NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano, the D-PARK No.1 Workshop, 751 Art Zone, Beijing, The Adorkable Tiger, Fashion Designer, 2015

Babylon Fashion Show—Tsinghua University Academy of Arts & Design & NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano, Milan International Fashion Week 2015, Milan, The Adorkable Tiger, Fashion Designer, 2015

The Start of a Long Journey—Outstanding Works by Graduates From Key Art Academies in China, The Adorkable Tiger, Fashion Designer, 2015

Tsinghua University Academy of Arts & Design 2015 Undergraduate Cohort's Second Graduation Exhibition, Tsinghua University Art Museum and Area A Multi-Function Hall, Beijing, The Adorkable Tiger, Fashion Designer, 2015

Bremner, C. et al. (2024) Whether We Design: A Weather Report. Printed Publication. Available at: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/5670/.

Lin, M. (2015). The Application of Chinese Folk Tiger Patterns in Fashion Design. Bachelor's thesis, Tsinghua University.

Lin, M., Wang, Y., Xia, M., Zhao, Z., & Chen, Y. (2018, February 11). Butterfly effect: Introducing Miao traditional textile art in an interactive space. Master's Integrated Capstone Research Project, Arts and Culture Management, Pratt Institute.

Mi, L. (2024). Transdisciplinary immersion: Digitising textile intangible cultural heritage. Research presented at the Transcension Workshop: Active Voices – Transdisciplinarity and Participation in Ancient Studies, Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK) and the Institute Archäologie und Kulturgeschichte Nordostafrikas (AKNOA), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.