This project attempts to use a group of installation art to express my reflection on daily life and interpersonal relations during the quarantine period. The disruption has revealed what was once considered routine to have been fragile, and self-isolation has given rise to an unconsciously-repetitive sense of loneliness.

After weeks of research and questionnaire, I have the idea to expressed this indescribable and empathic emotion in my art works. In the initial plan, I wanted to use an illustration to express my concepts. However, when I began to conceive the main characters and the background, I was faced with a challenge which is I could not accurately depict an elusive emotion with concrete images. As a result, I turned to find materials to express my thoughts.

Invisible Quarantine Process

I made this video during my experimental practice.

I tried to express the feeling of loneliness and confusion in my installation. Since the existence of this feeling is personal and hidden, I chose cellophane as the material. In fact, there are two ways to explain what cellophane stands for: first, it's a material that can lead suffocate, in an extreme sense, it's a vessel for this emotion. Second, the transparency of cellophane explains the leakage of this invisible emotion. Although I cannot, in any way, guarantee that the room is continuously dark, the colors reflected from the cellophane suggest that the isolation basically leaves ‘color’ on everyone’s mind or brain. This color seems to be very subjective, because the emotional meaning of isolation itself is essentially subjective.
I tried to make sure the making process random and unpredictable, as puzzling as this sudden world public event. When cutting the cellophane shape, the only thing I needed to be sure of was that they would finally be able to stand, as if all we needed to do throughout the epidemic was to remain in one state: alive. I call each individual part I made "Jie Jue" (which comes from Chinese book Erya), which is a tiny insect floating in the water of a well. Just as we humans, in fact, are as fragile as these little bugs, our perception of the world is like a well, we are the small existence, and even a drop of water can throw us off balance. I initially wanted to place each "Jie Jue" on a smooth plane, but after experimental practice, I found it difficult to make them all stand on a flat place: they always fell down in the shooting process due to the lack of friction. Therefore, I began to think about using an object that is not very flat but can make them stand. The window screen in my hometown inspired me, this material with delicate texture and easy-shaping property can make them stand on it, which could simulate the relationship between our human and the society during the quarantine as well.
Mike asked me a question on Crits: "Why you call them strangers?" I don't think I explained it very well at that time. In fact, I call them ‘Jie Jue’ at the beginning, but I didn't think I had enough time to explain the meaning of ‘Jie jue’ in the presentation. So after consideration, I thought it might be better to call them strangers. On the one hand, the word ‘stranger’ is easier to be accepted by people who are not familiar with ‘Jie Jue’. Even, it is easy to produce ambiguity because the so-called ‘strangers’ means not familiar with each other, but what I want to emphasize here is a kind of emotional strangeness, at the same time, the mood is based on the society under this environment, therefore, ‘strangers’ better explain the invisibility (the subtlety of ‘Jie Jue’) and the unknowable mystery, that’s also why I called my project ‘invisible quarantine’.

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