More selected projects

The Shape Of Water 

A poetic depiction on seeing water as a sentimental expression and turning that into the visual representation of how we visualize the shape ourselves in the water. 

produced by: Penny Chen

" Not knowing how to swim
I became an expert
at diving in
lost in a soundless universe
living only on that one breath
my shadow like a soul distorted
accompanying me on the bottom
like a dolphin
in the refraction
of water
Although I never learned
to swim.

I became an expert
in not drowning."

- The Refraction Of Water,
   poem by Donall Dempsey


My inspiration for the project is started on the fantasy of dancing and moving freely in the water.
There is a fascination we have towards the water, and I'd like to depict the emotional relationship between us and water by a sense of physicality through an abstract approach.
This is to manifest how we see the water in a sentimental way and explore how we portray the shape of ourselves with the filter of water.

The aim is to reshape the way we perceive and picture ourselves in the water through a poetic lens with the interaction between digital and analogue materials.
In order to portray the shape of water in a physical form, I conceive an installation system that is able to enhance the realness of visually being in the water.


Visual inspiration 
The aesthetical approach of this project is reflected in my choice of materials and visual display. 
I am always interested in the optical effects that reflective transparent materials and lights can create. 
The beauty of transparent materials is that they are in between visible and non-visible, while also giving another layer of texture for whatever is placed behind them. 
Why fishbowl and ripples?
I consider fish in a fishbowl is one of the most mundane phenomena where we visualise water is lively and formed in a certain shape.
First, the use of fishbowl is to apply the texture of water and glass on ourselves in order to simulate the feel of being in the water.
The ripples are designed for a similar purpose but they are more to communicate our movements in the water through interactions.
Secondly,  the fishbowl has represented the 'shape' of the water and we are the 'fish' inside this given frame. 

Future development

As an extension of this work, I would build an alternative structure that having a screen inside the fish tank for better communication.
For the broader view of this project, I wish to extend on the idea of shaping water and how it's shaping us by a collection of mix media works.  
There are still many more to explore for finding the definition for the shape of water, and I am looking forward to what is coming. 


Self evaluation

I see this project as a not ending process and will be continued as my own practice. 
The project at this stage helps me to understand and communicate the concept in a more stable structure.
On the technical aspect, I find the work is not yet fully demonstrated to the concept due to my limitation of skills.
I would improve on the design of interacting with water by giving it more variety for my further development.
However, I am happy with the work as a portentous prototype for greater results.



Online Source
ofxFX/ examplewaterRipples, by patriciogonzalezvivo
Week 11- Frame Differencing code example/ Creative Coding Workshops
Examples from ofxOpenCV, ofxCV, and ofxPS3EyeGrabber
The Refraction Of Water, a poem by Donall Dempsey

Music in the video