From afar, these beautifully designed Chinese dresses by artist Caroline Cheng are simple gowns covered with interesting patterns. However, upon closer inspection, viewers will be pleasantly surprised to discover that the fabric is actually covered with thousands of porcelain butterflies. Entitled Prosperity, the series is filled with intricate complexities that were purposefully created to symbolize a diverse culture in China.
Though the butterfly sculptures look identical, they are all very different. Cheng made each one, painstakingly putting the parts together by hand to produce the unique forms and subtle, varying details. Some of the larger dresses have over 20,000 butterflies on them.
Cheng relates the project to China by drawing on the rich history and culture of the country. “From afar, people can look at China and see a country with people almost looking the same. But if you look closely, it has many complex personalities, many different cultures mixed into one large pot,” she explains. Her project title is also a play on words, calling the project Prosperity because “Clothing?” and “Prosperity?” are pronounced the same way “fu”.