Invisible Sculptures (2018)


Award

Winner of Communication Arts Interactive Annual Award 2018 (Student work category)


Exhibition

Shown at Riese Lounge at 721 Broadway
ITP Thesis Week 2018
Afterglow, Vol.1 at Mana Contemporary



Credit


Nancy Hechinger (Thesis Advisor)






Invisible Sculptures is a series of artistic experiments that studies human perception with sculptures that are invisible to eye and can only be “seen” by engaging through senses other than vision. The goal of this project was to create perceptible objects which embody physical space but are completely invisible to the naked eye. In order to perceive the objects, the viewer must synchronize multiple sensory functions and their imagination to find and feel the form of each sculpture. The sculptures are made out of sound, heat, directional airflows, and odor.




In a gallery setting, there are five identical display plinths. Each holds an invisible sculpture.



Sculpture I and II are solid 3d forms made of sound. To experience the work, move your hand over the plinth. Concentrate all of your senses to find the connection between what you touch and what you hear. You will soon find yourself in the land of synesthesia. 



Sculpture III is made of heat.



Sculpture IV is made of cold air.



Sculpture V is stinky… You might not want to get too close to this one! 



Another smell sculpture existed in the Grand Central Station for a few hours on April 14, 2018. I carried around a big piece of durian (delicious but very smelly fruit) in the station to create a large invisible space, an empty space around me. There were several moments of people frowning at me and walking away :)



The Invisible Sculptures were shown at multiple shows and here are some videos of the audience interacting with the piece. People had different strategies to “see” the shape. One person gently felt the air, another closed their eyes and wiggled their fingers, one was super focused, another tried to reach as high as possible, another felt layer by layer, one person carefully read the pamphlet to figure out what was going on, others showed things to the heat camera including their faces.



After experiencing the five sculptures, the audience was invited to make physical sculptures using clay after they experienced the five sculptures.



A collection of”visible” sculptures from the audience filled a whole table. Although people experienced the same invisible sculpture, each of them have different shapes in their mind. These are translated through each audience member’s perception, and each translation is unique.




Below is the video of me presenting the project at the ITP Thesis Week.