Deaths around me over the years inspired this piece – I mean, the sudden departure of my relatives, friends, and teachers... Before they died, they looked healthy, risk-less, and lively. Then death occurred without any signals. But the moments of how they made it through their final struggle stay in my mind: their body shakes with their fast heartbeat, skinniness from cancer, a sinking body that’s found. I stood by their deathbed, anxious about my own death and when. This short piece is about my death fantasy: before-death, after-death, and rebirth.
1. As soon as we are born, we are old enough to die. -- Martin Heidegger
2. Ego integrity -- Erik Erikson
3. sadgati (सद्गति, six realms wheel of life in Sanskrit) -- Buddhism
The horizontal flow of narrative in this work unfolds a 3-act journey of mine from death to rebirth. The starting point is like hiking. Upon death I have no choice but jump down. I die, and yet some senses remain with my body, but slowly disappear until my body becomes a new source of energy feeding flies, and then new life dawns on me.
Ego integrity. My whole life goes through my mind at the last moment; and I remember those happy moments only. Meanwhile, my brain no longer functions, my identity twists. My spirit is collected and brought to ṣaḍgati.
I become an egg.
Then I meet the sperm, we melt together and become a new life.
Cora Kwun, born 2002, is an undergraduate major in Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong. She creates illustrations, animation and collages. Her interdisciplinary art includes the areas of psychology and philosophy. In her work, she asserts her spiritual freedom and explores the meaning and reason of being by examining herself against the negative side of human nature.
This photo montage sequence is a narrative on the predicament of time and space. Alluding to the metaphor of boiling a frog in water, it is assumed that a frog will jump out when water heats up whereas in lukewarm water a frog may fail to perceive danger or death coming. lukewarm water is about our being oblivious to growing threats: the "slow-boiling pot" could be the illusion of a comfort zone from which we should step out for survival.
In the Chinese sense of the title, water 水 and fire 火, rather than rivals, are supporting each other like time and space cannot be separate. Iron fences, flowers and so on are not just objects but also metaphors of our broader context of life. There is no specific situation in this story, but a collage of our everyday environment. Recycling. Reaching out. Day-dreaming. Keep trying things that are doomed to fail. “Never say never.” “Such is life!” Or, when do I get out of lukewarm water before too late?
GUO Rui (Gray), born and raised in mainland China, is a Cantonese-speaking new media artist, currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. Her art practice focuses on computation art, especially in code-writing, which revolves around contemporary interpretations of Chinese culture and philosophy. She is also concerned about cross-cultural communication, putting efforts in Chinese translation and transnational art-collaboration.
This work is my critique of the toxicity of beauty standards that has corrupted human sanity throughout countless centuries. I have adopted a classical 3-act-structure to advance my thoughts:
1. Beauty standards spread like a fast-paced virus and make us question our beauty.
2. We keep on looking for temporary things by giving up things that matter to us.
3. An allegory could be an open interpretation, but it has a very deep history specific to the
While making this work, my sentiments and mental well-being pushed me to a surrealist narrative strategy for “collage” formations. The resources I adopt to invoke viewers’ emotions are from traditional Indonesian beliefs and more. My collage work comprises a mixture of found images, my own hand-drawn art and self-photography. I finally pinned down on pop-up layered collage as it fits my intention to deconstruct the actual image, layer by layer first, and then reconstruct it narratively. I have focused a lot on fragments with symbolic meanings in order to show the rotting process of beauty standards.
I believe abstraction provokes more active audience response and gives them the space to create their own narratives as they watch mine.
Image Reference: **all images are copyright-free**
Image 1 :
Golden ratio spiral : Josuha Théophile (gray shell fossil)
Febby Valencia is doing her undergraduate major in Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong. She is interested in animation, conceptual art, storytelling and narrative-based art. Born in Indonesia, a country with millions of cultures, making her wanting to discover deeper meanings in art creation. She seeks to know how art is more than just storytelling, as well as more ways to articulate her feelings in different artistic media.
As a social being, I adjust as changes come along with people around me. For better or worse, I often feel obliged to fulfill the expectation of others. But social standards change, too. We may easily feel lost.
In this piece, I use hair to represent a part of my identity and my ego. Hair could be hair style, a marker of one’s ethnicity and more. In the story, someone’s identity seems lost in the city and yet the only way to recover it is neither to follow the signs inside the city nor to ask others. Perhaps his “identity” is just in his body and has never been lost. Where is the mirror in which he could see himself? And who makes that mirror? And how to ensure the mirror is not obscure?
Fung Hoi-ching is interested in observing. She questions human existence and self-identity in her works. By experimenting with sound, she lets the audiences feel and enter worlds that are not originally theirs. She is a major in Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong.