With the subject “Individual Perspectives,” Flynn Hadre discovers his fellow classmates’ works in Ventriloquists 2021 that tell an artist’s personal stories. 有些作品值得看，就因為它是作者的個人經歷和生活的過程。Flynn Hadre 從36個同伴的作品中挑出了三個可細聽細看的故事。
**feature image: video still from KOO Jiayin’s What is Fear?
Works of the exhibition that tell an artist’s personal stories
Works featured in this post:
Wound, Heal, Remember (video photo-montage, 2021) – YANG Jen 楊仁
Fill the Hole (3D animation, 2021) – CHOW Hok Yin 周學賢
What is Fear? (video, 2021) – KOO Jia Yin 辜佳殷
Overcoming one’s own fear, losing a loved one, or finding hope despite being rejected, the featured artists have made works that are based on their own personal stories. Instead of simply telling the story, the artists created works that tell the stories without words and the events they experienced are unfolded in ways that make the viewer feel the way the artists felt in those moments.
In Yang Jen’s work, the powerful photography is the main tool to convey the pain of losing a loved one, but its importance lies in how he arranges the photographs in an effective order. A different sequential ordering of the photos would have had a very different effect, and very different sentiments created.
Fill the Hole by Chow Hok-yin shows the main character enduring rejection to stay hopeful. It can take some time for the viewer to empathise with the character as s/he watches his series of struggle — and this makes the “hope” that comes through in the end even more gripping. It is consoling that the artist finds a happy “ending” for his own story and so does the character in the work.
What is Fear? is a more complex question than it appears to be at first glance. Although the work is a simple tool of survival, it also suggests most of the fears that we are having today are not based on a threat to life anymore. Apart from being functional, fear is an emotion after all, and to talk about it cannot be compared with feeling it. Koo Jiayin created this photo series as a tool for the viewer to sense fear and find out that whatever the fear it can be to overcome by courage.
by Thore Flynn Hadre
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Wound, Heal, Remember – YANG Jen 楊仁
Video : Montage Sequence 02’32’’
Wound, Heal, Remember is a video work constructed by sequencing 8 photos taken by me to a two-and-a-half-minute timeline. The video has three parts, “wound,” “heal,” and “remembering.” Viewers are invited to immerse into the grieving journey of a person passing away accompanied by her family. The theme of this work is the experience of being heart-broken, healing from it and at the end remembering sadness. Although the images are not portraying my exact real-life memories, with this work I regenerate the genuine emotion that I have experienced in the past.
A person perishing and the experience of his/her family to get over it is a tough situation. Sometimes, things that happen just come unexpected. Such emotionally charged events stir up our emotions in exclusive ways. It is painful to re-experience these emotions once again by making a work out of it. I am fortunate enough to be with my family and to walk this path with them and to be able to record it in photographs. However, although images can capture the moment, the emotions are somewhat hard to recreate.
I found that one very important aspect of creating emotions is time. Without adequate timing, an emotion referenced in any particular moment hardly comes close to how I actually experienced it. Thus, I decided to edit my photos and tried to regenerate how I felt then.
The photos used are all my own, taken of two of my family members. Although these photos do not exactly relate to each other in reality, the experience of creating the video is very close to my own wounds, my recovery and how I remember it. In editing, pace, timing, and order are the key to creating the emotions I want the audience to feel. I want the narrative of my work to be simple but strong, deep and effective.
Fill the Hole – CHOW Hok Hin 周學賢
This is a 3-minute 3D animation work that is based on my personal experience. This video is to share my personal testimony on how I became a true Christian. In short, this is my personal experience on the journey of filling the emptiness caused by love. The main aim of this 3D animation video is to persuade the audience of the idea that emptiness in the deepest heart can only be filled by god.
There is a saying in Chinese: 「每個人心中都有一個 “白月光”。」 [There is a “white bright moon” in everyone’s heart.] The process of finding the loved one in your life is not always easy. Some may get rejected by the one they love most in their life. Then, a hole is left in their heart. They may want to find someone similar to fill the emptiness. Even though they get older and married to someone else, there is still a sense of emptiness in their heart because of their relationship with the earlier person. In my story, Enoch was once rejected by “the one” and a hole was then created in his body. He tried so many methods to find a similar girl to fill the hole. However, he failed again and again. When he thought that there was no more hope, a light suddenly appeared.
3D animation is a very special medium for me. I have been madly in love with 3D animation since I was young, because it can tell a story in a very different way compared to live-action films or 2D animation. A world constructed in 3D animation has a unique way for immersion. Besides, 3D animation allows unique character creation. This work is my first piece trying out 3D animation after learning it for more than three years. I am happy to share my very own testimony with my favorite art form.
For Character design, “Enoch” and “Sarai” were both glasses. This is to represent the idea of similarity, that they should be “the one” for each other to fill the “hole”, which turned out to be vain hope. On the other hand, “Briton”, his first big love, was a chef hat, which represents a girl named Brittany, who I met when I worked for a restaurant. God is represented by yellow glowing balls. Initially, I wanted to show God as a cross, as it clearly represents Christianity. However, I was concerned that it will be less approachable to many non Christian people. As I was once a non-believer, I understand how unbelievers despise of Christians for trying hard to convert someone to believe in Jesus. In terms of character design, neither god nor Christianity is represented directly so as to allow people’s free interpretation. The holy spirit is presented as four glowing balls, each animated differently to show that the holy spirit does not have a fixed form.
What is FEAR? – KOO Jia Yin 辜佳殷
Video : Montage Sequence 01’36’’
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
———— Franklin Delano Roosevelt ”
In this series of photos, I show that the biggest terror is not only the fear on its own, but also the one who causes you the fear: yourself. Therefore, to create an atmosphere of fear and the ”fright” element, I tried to set up some risk factors. Because I think fear is an emotion of self-protection, reminding us to stay away from danger so that we can increase the chance of survival, I assume that when the audience sees the girl in red clothes suddenly appearing behind the model, it will create that atmosphere of fear.
As props I use earphones, phones and headsets, which people often use to isolate themselves from others. They show that one wants to escape from something one is afraid of, like communication, social intercourse, personal issues, etc. But in the end, when you are forced to face your fear, it is just fear of yourself. Moreover, I use many full shots or medium shots in each photo to make the characters appear small, and I use the isolated red color to indicate that the character has expanded her sense of fear, and it is hindering her from seeing other things.
We are always afraid of the unknown, and sometimes we don’t even want to face it, which leads to retreat. That’s how I am, and that is what I always do. I was afraid to go abroad to study and live alone, that I would not know how to take care of myself, that I would not be able to meet new friends, that I would not have any skills when starting to work, that I would not be able to keep up with others… because I always prioritised my fear over making a decision, which amplified the fear unnoticeably. Then, in the end, I would shrink back, but when I forced myself to take my first step beyond the fear, I realised: that is all it takes.
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