A multimedia project exploring mental health
by Chun Wang
A video installation conceived and created from late 2020 to early 2021 during my remote residency at world.of.co, Soliloquy has a narrative context settled in my own mental sickness and the epochal trauma inflicted on humanity by current events of the pandemic, which has been damaging to our collective mental health. Struggling, I tried to live under the reign of logic by attempting to analyze, rationalize, and contextualize my anxieties. Nevertheless, during these difficult times, I found it a more helpful approach to take a departure from my usual conceptual practice and work in a mode in which I didn’t filter or suppress my emotions but allowed them to be directly transferred onto physical materials such as paper, paint, and clay.
Embodying existential feelings, every character in Soliloquy appears as a fragment, a portion, a broken piece in some way. With clay I am able to express crippled, vulnerable and sometimes eerie qualities — mimicked by the material is the fragility and elasticity of life. There is intentional superimposition of these sculptural works and watercolor paintings to demonstrate my ongoing exploration with these media to express with spontaneity, where the rawness of form and process is purposefully preserved. I aimed to examine the ways in which material functions as language, with the application of material revealing as tone of voice.
The script for the voiceover in the 7-episode video (total running length: 8 minutes 46 seconds) is available for the audience to peruse. While there was push and pull between the fear of feeling exposed versus the integrity of this video, writing the script served as a vehicle to question the griefs so that they may be interpreted in a new light.