VIS 130: Special Projects in Visual Arts
Performance Strategies on Imagining Home
During this summer session, senior students from various Visual Arts disciplines explored performance strategies together. Key methods included working with scores, the voice, and sensorial objects. Their final gestures used a performance technique to reflect on how the Coronavirus pandemic has altered their relationships to home, and imagine new ways of feeling at home. Instructed by Kirstyn Hom.
This is a reading of a letter I received from my late father on my 16th birthday. I read this letter aloud as though I were him, and have accompanied this narration with some illustrations of some of my favorite moments with him.
It’s a letter to my nephew that will help him comprehend that the home and time need to be respected. My nephew is seen messing with the camera a little and describing what he wants capture with the camera. Accompanying the footage of my nephew is my narration and the warning to value the home as we all do in my family.
It's one feeling ultimate freedom within their body and also a person being able to move freely with their body. Something I have been struggling with during the pandemic. Reimaging home for me is being able to move about freely with my body, meaning being able to explore where I want when I want! I haven't a sense of home within my own body because it has been trapped within a home for the past year.
My piece is a small collection of scores formatted into a digital zine titled Memories from Home that summarize my personal experiences of home. As someone who's moved back home with a parent during the pandemic after having been away for a few years, my writing is focused on explorations of my relationship with childhood home, although the central theme of my piece is that the concept of home is shaped by different experiences for everyone. My final score in the collection, Piece for Recalling Home, is designed to be performed in front of an online classroom.
Click HERE to see a ZINE PDF
The idea of home that we have gained through this course is that it can be approached and found through a variety of exercises and perspectives. Connection to your physical body helps us strengthen the one to our spiritual idea of home. My personal experience with defining home is not one of physical permanence but that of emotional perspective. Through consistent communication with others (like conversation over a cup of coffee) and myself, I find my definition of home to become more and more solid. My performance, The Power of Why, is the exploration of the space between reaction and emotion. How our actions do not have to be dictated by our emotions rather our perspective and approach to them.
Click HERE to see the SCRIPT
As for my final, the home of my imagination and experience is called self-healing and choice-making. Because of the pandemic, I have lived alone for two years. Before, I was with friends every day. During the pandemic, I became alone with everything. I made my own choices, laughed alone , and broke my heart without telling anyone. Because they can't help you if they're not around. The best thing I can do is to heal myself, thinking independently and making choices then keeping your own way to live. What you thought you could not do before, can now be done. In this process, you may sometimes be very painful and sad, and you will hesitate repeatedly, but you will eventually overcome all difficulties and find a way that is comfortable for you, because we are born alone. This is the main structure of the “home” I imagined: self-healing and choice-making.
For this work, I’ve made a score based on the gesture that I created. The score is to interlock both thumbs and creating a wing butterfly motion upwards helps connect our inner thoughts. When you close your eyes, try to visualize your imaginative environment. There are no limits to where you can practice this gesture.Home is somewhere we feel secure, even during a pandemic. However, being at home now where school, work, exercise, and socialization happens put a strain on human emotions. Being a person of multi-homes and having a home in 2 different continents could be an elusive term. The flying motion is what I feel at home, transcending me to different places. So, flying like a butterfly, the process of moving homes, the anticipation of the “new” but yet old home, is the one I want to capture that traveling is home.
This is a little story of a dream about home. It can be interpreted however you want. I used a soundtrack I stitched together with songs and sound effects and performed a little half-improvised dance. In this dream she is seeking, reliving nostalgic feelings and getting struck by uneased homesickness. It may be interpreted as a dream inside a dream, a looped dream, or a dream winding backwards in time.It seems like my picture of this home is ever-so-quickly fading away, while coming back to tear me in different directions. Especially with the pandemic, home seems even farther away. This homesickness is my sentiment of home at the moment, and I describe this feeling as the uneasy, empty feeling of walking through a dark alleyway, being possessed by this uncanny liminal space. And on the end of the alleyway is a sweet, refreshing dream I wish to find again.
For my final I initially wanted to do a video going back and forth between my current home and what will be my new home but the more that I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I really don't consider any physical location to be home. As a kid I was adopted, passed around the system, and ever since 18 I've constantly been moving just trying to survive my way through college. With that being said, I decided to create a scenario where what if you were the last human on Earth would San Diego still be home, LA, or maybe another country? In my mind it just wouldn't, and I wanted to create a meditative type of exercise where you had to imagine what home would look like without anyone there. I spent the majority of the time on this assignment just thinking about what my idea of home really is, because for me, it's not easy to pinpoint. However, I settled on the idea that home consists of two things for me, what you personally make it, and the feeling that I get around people that grew up with me and talk the same language as far as general views on things. I think home is a connection we have, and there's no greater connection you can have in this world than a connection with another like minded person. Thanks for reading!
Click HERE or on the title for AUDIO
I embroider a map on a small piece of silk, and link a few locations where my family members are located. In order to convey the means that even though my family is separated physically, we are actually tied together. I also quoted some words that were said by a few well-known people to help me express the idea of how important family is.
For this piece I decided to focus on the little things that make home feel like home, and in this case decided to explore my connection between home and fruits. Having a bowl of fruit to eat in the evenings is nostalgic for me and it is one of the ways my family expresses their care and love for one another, by preparing each other's food. Quarantine was a time of reflection for many, including myself, and it was during this time where I began to notice home wouldn’t feel the same without these little acts of love.
I worked on the interaction between people and bubbles. As for the color, I chose red and blue as my final result. Red represents covid-19, and blue means our family, protection, or our strong hearts. My work is on a big piece of paper, and then I have three areas on it. The first area is the red bubble, which means danger, threat. Similar to COVID. The second area is blue, which symbolizes safety, health, or anything that can protect us or reassure us. The third area is the body gesture. The gesture on my work will hold my knee tightly, like a baby gesture in her mother's stomach. In fact, it symbolizes that we are always protected and that family or maternal love is our strong backing. Whatever the situation, our family will always support us.
For this piece I re-photographed pictures from my parent's wedding album with the use of in-camera, multi exposures. The score is not directed towards the viewer, but it is written as a way for me to dive into larger questions about my future, idealization of the family, and social norms. As I see the start of my family's history through the album and think about how it has evolved; I think about what it is next for me. Will I get divorced when I'm old? Should I adopt these social traditions or just some of them?
This was a piece created from what my alter ego would be and how they see the world. The audio recording is a high pitch volume used through a voice changer staying hidden from people to not be looked weak or judged. They think of a home where they can be comfortable and stay unguarded. Home where it should be peaceful with no disturbance, but this alter ego can’t feel that way due to many people around them always watch and ready to judge if one mistake was created. If one answer was wrong. Always needing to calculate how to answer, and how to make others around them feel good.
Click HERE or on the image for AUDIO
During the pandemic, I have known that the greatest happiness is to be able to be with my family. When covid19 first broke out, I was alone in San Francisco, taking class at college. The pandemic delayed my plan of return home for a year. In this project, I want to show my loneliness and my desire through the contrast of the mirror and color. Outside of the mirror is my life at the time, loneliness and sadness. The overlapping image in the mirror is the wish of reunion with family, and my spiritual support during the pandemic.
The main idea of the project is to get yourself close to these greenery from nature.When there is no epidemic we always have good access to nature, whether it is a mountain in the wild or a green space in the city, all kinds of natural environments are good for mental health. But with many parts of the world still closed by the epidemic, there is perhaps a greater awareness of the importance of greenery and nature for people's mental health. Exposure to nature can make people happy and energized physically and mentally.Everyone's understanding of home is different. Some people may think of home as a place to work and others may think of it as a place to sleep and rest. But for me, home is more like a place where we can relax, a place full of greenery, close to nature, a place where we can better find a sense of belonging and return to nature.In such a home we are free to breathe, to feel, to see, to think - to let ourselves become one with the greenery in our home.