The significance of the traditional Chinese lantern is tightly associated with communal celebration and utopian well wishes within family. However, in reality, these well wishes often come at the expense of allowing differences and honesty. By exploring the pictorial origins of the Chinese word for family – "家“ and deconstructing its form, we seek to express a more accurate reality of family through a modified form of the Chinese lantern. A reality that embraces the complexity of these intimate dynamics which are constantly in flux – a cyclical nature of coming apart and coming together again.
HSU Yun Chu
During our initial brainstorming sessions, we discussed areas of interest we were both interested in and worked around in our personal practice. For Beta, she is specifically interested in the illusionary and transformational effect that multiple layers can bring out as well as their relationship with light and shadow in space. The manipulation of narratives, be it political or personal, and the act of hoping and aspiring for better for the next generation were also of interest to her. As for Kimberly, she is interested in the manipulation of light because it is an element that plays a pivotal role in her personal creative process. She, too, is interested in shadow work. She thought it’d be intriguing to work with a non-matter element within the context of crafts as crafts typically ensue haptic feedback in our corporeal reality. She is also drawn to communal processes and family dynamics.
Our overlapping interests in the movements that light and shadow can generate and the complexity of familial relationships led us to naturally agree on working with the craft of the Chinese lantern. It was an object that encapsulated the feelings we were interested in addressing with our project – desires, harmonies and friction.