"The Garment Worker" An Interactive Media Installation for Community Dialogue Favorite 



Jan 1 2012


New York US

“The Garment Worker” an interactive installation piece that focuses on the daily life of a garment worker and the hardships she/he encounters working in a sweatshop. The installation in Kang Wei Laundromat simulated the sounds, motions and experiences of a garment factory while providing testimonials and information from immigrant workers on their sweatshop conditions. Through the integration of a sewing machine, video and audio, “The Garment Worker” provides a rare look into garment working conditions that Chinese immigrants face in New York City through the personal story of the artist. The user experience the sounds and motions of a garment worker. When the user turns the balance wheel or slide the stitch control or pushes their foot down on the pedal different stories and facts of the garment industry appear on the screen.

The organizer, Betty Yu, is a NYC based multi-media artist, media justice activist and community organizer. In her project, Yu created an interactive media installation to highlight the unfair and abusive working conditions still experienced by workers in Brooklyn’s growing garment industry. It was also dedicated to the artists’ family, who has worked in the garment industry for over three decades and in particularly to her sister, who was a Chinatown labor activist and passed away in 2010. Betty’s background as a community labor organizer and media justice activist, and her personal connection to garment workers, informed her project to educate the public while arousing people to take action to support the elimination or improvement of such conditions.

"The Garment Worker" has been exhibited four times in New York City, which included the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival's Interactive Showcase, a 5-week exhibit in a pop-up gallery in Chinatown, and a local laundromat in Brooklyn, New York where she was a Public Artist in Residence with The Laundromat Project.

In addition, her documentary film, “Resilience” chronicling her mother’s struggles as a garment worker screened at the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival. Ms. Yu’s work has been exhibited, screened and featured at the International Center of Photography, the Kodak Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Posted by Grace Xia on