My installaton is based on the celebration of the individual’s memories and dreams.
Inspired from the white Chinese mourning attire worn by the relatives of the deceased, Apart from being a sign of respect, white also symbolizes purity. There is a Chinese belief that death is not an end for the deceased, but a transition to a new life. Therefore, white might also be a representation of a new start, both for the deceased, as well as for the family.
Holding a funeral is considered an act of filial piety, where younger generations gather to pay their last respects to the deceased by taking the time to plan and perform rituals. Throughout the duration of the wake, memories are also shared among family and friends – after performing the obligatory rituals, the family usually sits down and chats with visitors, making a point to exchange words with everyone at least once.
I am interested in the symbolic aspect of the mourning attire, as well understanding how the funeral functions not only as a site for reflection and contemplation, but also serves as a communication channel for sharing memories with family and friends. In essence, the funeral is both a place for mourning, as well as a celebration of a new life.
Hence, I will create an interactive installation based on my interpretation of the funeral as a communication channel, as well as using the colour (of lack thereof) of the mourning attire as a medium to encourage the audience to share their memories and dreams with one another.
The title reflects the nature of the installation – the flow of memories and dreams from one individual to another (Establishing a communication) and the upward flow of water as it changes the physical appearance of the paper. It also relates back to the theme of transcendence in Asian funerals – life as a continuous cyclic flow.
The installation comprises of glassware in varying sizes placed in close proximity to one another. Each glass is filled with water as Asians regard water as an important life source, hence it is held in high regard. Audience participate in the installation by writing a piece of memory or dream they have onto a piece of paper in black ink (Provided in the exhibition). The paper will then be folded and placed into a glass of their choice. The water will slowly climb up the paper, creating a capillary action which seperates the black ink into its basic colour components. Through the process of chromatography, the black and white somber colours of the paper will morph into rainbow. In essence, it becomes a celebration of life through memories and dreams.
The paper is folded into flower forms as it is a natural process for plants to absorb water. As already mentioned, water is held in high regard among Asian countries as it nurtures life. In this context, the water feature in my installation allows our memories and dreams to ‘come to life’ in the form of colours.
Other deliverables include the following:
Printed on watercolour paper, the layout exhibits a ‘flowing’ motion in the text.
Printed on vellum, the folded invite plays on the fading visibility of the text. Unfolding the invite will show the ‘flow’ of letters, especially on the logo.
Glass (Also featured in the installation) which has the frosted image of the logo – a reminder to the participants about the importance of their memories. The minimal packaging allows the clarity of the glassware as well as the frosted logo to be displayed.