Directions of the Tide is an room-scale installation questioning the relationship between human-being and the surrounded society. Using the river and the tide as a metaphor, challenging the idea of "live the way as the majority do" in Chinese society.
Should we go with the "flow" like everyone else, or gather the force together, change the "directions" of the "tide"?
Background & Inspiration
Back in college, I worked as a part-time editor for a magazine (新周刊), one time a new book (《我们终将改变潮水的方向》) by the editor-in-chief of a popular Chinese online journal The Fair (新世相) caught my attention. The title of the book can be translated as "Together, we can change the directions of the tide.", expressing an idea of keeping our own ways of living but not following the majority blindly.
In the Chinese society where I grew up, seems everyone has been complaining about the surrounded society and the fast-paced lifestyle, but we're all trying to adapt the society and keeping complaining about it, not changing it.
One of the differences from human-being and animal is human can change the surrounded environment they live, but animal only can adapt to the environment. Are we only able to follow the trend powerlessly, like a drop of water in the tide, or can we gather the strength together, can change the directions of the "tide"?
A shared experience
Directions of the tide allows max 6 ppl in the installation space. When they scattered in different positions in the room, the "tide" flows as the way it is. When they are in the same area in the space, the tide will turn into that direction, and the color will change as well.
Visual & Interaction Development
Wonderland & Infinite
Inspired by teamLab's visual design style, I rendered the "tide" as linear particles in TouchDesigner. The "tide" is built upon a GPU particle system, and used a Kinect sensor getting the position data of up to 6 participants. The use the data as the "force" applied to this particle system.
Testing & Prototypes