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<Home Memories>, Installation, newspapers, matches, 2015
Sigmund Freud said that the German word unheimlich (of which the nearest semantic equivalents in English are “uncanny” and “eerie”, but which etymologically corresponds to “unhomely”) as the language has developed. The uncanny is that species of the frightening that goes back to what was once well knew and had long been familiar. How it can be—under what conditions the familiar can become uncanny and frightening.
I am always interested and confused about where is my home and wondering where is my belonging, and I always have the strange feeling of both homes. The emotions of home are mixed, complicated and fragile. Maybe I have been away for too long or my perspectives have been changed. When I think about my original hometown, the familiar has become strange, anxious and frightening. My second home, London, I used to feel unfamiliar with, now it has become homely and secure.
In cultural psychology, Erikson said that people are exposed to unpredictable event generating uncertainty events which are partly imposed on them, partly created by them. People do not always have the relevant knowledge or skills, the experience on the social support to face ruptures or turning points such as being a country in war, moving place, becoming a parent…etc. However, culture presents people with material tools and semiotic tools that enable dealing with such uncertainties. More particularly, semiotic tools encapsulate other people’s experiences and interpretations of the world, in various times and places, such semiotic tools might thus support the transition processes of turing the unfamiliar into manageable environments.
Therefore, I have found a way to express and release my emotions and sentiments of homes by creating the “social elements” when facing my changing places situations.
I created a traditional English decorative Chandelier made of English newspaper yarn. By contrast, I created another traditional Chinese sky lantern made of Chinese newspaper. They are the symbolic of my two homes, Taiwan and London. The Chandelier is hanged from the ceiling. It is movable. In the movement between these lamp units, the motions are in a state of flux. That which appears stable is temporary stability. Maybe my so-called homeland only exists in my memory in the era.