Lighter and Lighter
Video Installation, Tufts Gallery, 2020
My video installation project “Lighter and Lighter” is intended to communicate with our hidden suffering and give viewers a chance to feel empathy. The first word “Lighter” refers to a lighter that generates fire, which indicates life in my project. The second “lighter” means brighter, hopes and self-healing after our sufferings. But you also can think of my title literally meaning brighter and brighter.
My project contains two parts: a seven-channel video installation and a large video projection. It is the nature of Chinese philosophy to create a pair of contrasts, like Yin and Yang. I conceived the two parts of my project to encourage viewers to experience both sides of life’s journeys, rather than just focusing on one.
In the first part, the seven-channel video shows a green environment like a dark forest. Like plants we experience dramatic weather. We are in the same forest. Our bodies and hearts may be hurt, but we can grow and stand tall again after the storm.
The second part of the installation is a large video projection that focuses on self-healing. The imagery is made with Cinema 4D, a 3D video program, which allows me to use pre-designed body assets that are unspecific. These bodies can be anyone.
On the big screen, there is a tall tower that was made up of hundreds of bodies accumulated together. This was inspired by Italian frescos such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, which I visited as part of my research. Our bodies are the agents that control all of our feelings and behaviors are also the sites of internal power struggles, like our dark as well as our beautiful desires. You see a bed in the space. I wish to create a space where people can meditate on the conflicts in our society and within ourselves, where we can feel some relief, heal and experience comfort. I hope we can live with our suffering in a peaceful way, especially at this difficult moment.