A Stubborn Bloom — is a research collective by Stephanie Jane Burt and Daniela Monasterios-Tan, investigating femininity through fashion, film and material culture.

  1. noun
    qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of women.

A total of 26 objects of femininity have been selected for the 26 alphabets, each holding meaningful representations of girlhood. Through the assemblage of these objects within an alphabetical and curated system, this dictionary seeks to identify domestically feminine objects conventionally viewed through a lens of perceived weakness into one that imbues them with a contemporary notion of strength. 

The protagonist, Lucy, is an elegant white-collar who exudes detailed perfection. She keeps a fastidiously kempt appearance and effectively conceals her emotion. She spends her time manifesting different possible configurations of her furniture and enjoys its infinite order.

Lucy takes inspiration from the character of In the Mood for Love’s Mrs Chan - Maggie Cheung plays an elegant but emotionally repressed office lady who begins an performative affair with her neighbour after discovering their shared plight of being victims on by their respective spouses’ indiscretion. The camera observes their relationship through framing moments of soft gestures, and timid glances reflected through the circling staircase between rooms where the two reside.

Lucy’s character is revealed through her romance with these objects. In their interaction with these 26 objects, audiences discover Lucy’s persona manifesting through a non-linear narrative, as they ‘collect’ evidence, fragments of the whole through these 26 objects, assembling the conception of her serendipitously. The fictional story presented through the dictionary online, allows viewers to navigate through these alphabets, objects, and finally through her psyche. 

Home Economics — is a video piece inspired by textboooks used in Singaporean Secondary Schools in the 1970s and 1980s, when the curriculum went through many changes to adapt to changing feminine roles.

A Stubborn Bloom

A Stubborn Bloom is an interdisciplinary collective started by artist Stephanie Jane Burt and fashion practitioner Daniela Monasterios-Tan. Sharing an interest in the exploration of feminine tropes, the duo brings a new perspective through a synthesis of film, fashion, and material culture.

© astubbornbloom

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Images by : Jonathan Tan