James Andy Thai’s “Familiarity Unknown”, which took the Jury Prize for Pillows
in the Home Décor category.
Name: James Andy Thai
Major: BFA Textile Design
Hometown: Danville, CA
What materials did you use and was it easy to work with them?
I used a beige cotton fabric that was pretty easy to work with.
What inspired your design?
I was inspired by a painting by Theresa Bernstein called In the Elevated. The pillow shows the point of view of four of the passengers in the painting on the corners. The idea of the pillow is that we recognize people on a daily basis but we don’t know anything about them – like the guy begging for change on the corner of the street or even our classmates; which is why I used the Girl With a Pearl Earring because everyone recognizes her face but no one really knows anything about her.
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What was the most challenging aspect of the project?
I think the most challenging aspect of the project was actually the printing! It got to a point where my professor, Jennifer Jeon, had to help me print.
What was your reaction when you found out you’d won the Jury Award?
Disbelief because my friend sent me a text and she messes with me a lot, so I thought it was a joke. Until I checked my email and then I was like “WTF” but in a good way.
What are you most looking forward about the Gala and auction?
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited and curious to see how much the pillow will go for.
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