Akshay Parmar

Four Faces

Bachelor of Design Identity Illustration Diversity Storytelling

Personal stories and cultural experiences shown through clothing

Four faces is a personal project in which I aim to reconnect with my cultural roots through a clothing line that displays my culture and experience as a second-generation immigrant. This project takes inspiration from Rajasthani and Mughal miniature paintings along with vintage style graphics from the 1950s–1970s. My project takes personal experiences and turns them into wearable stories that I am proud to wear.

Like many other second generation immigrants, I did not fully embrace my culture partially due to the portrayal of Indians in western media. I didn't feel represented and thus saw parts of my culture as “uncool.” But culture is something that gives meaning to much of our lives. Culture is all around us and is what we eat, the activities we do, and who we associate ourselves with. When someone comes from a different culture, they may do things differently, which sadly is often looked down upon and seen as strange. This experience can leave people feeling excluded and sometimes they try and disconnect from the culture they have known, in hopes to connect more with the culture that is around them. This is something I and many other second-generation immigrants experience. I decided to do this project in hopes to reconnect further with my Indian roots.

The project also explores my relationship with my own culture, as I draw inspiration from things I have experienced as a second-generation Indian, living in New Zealand. The resulting "Four Faces" clothing line has a total of six silk-screened graphics to be printed on a collection of apparel.