Making the Common Uncommon

Making the Common Uncommon

Interactive Design


app: Entiti

I like to observe every detail of life. Curiosity, nonconformity and critical thinking make me interested in trivialities most take for granted. It always leaves me in doubt whenever I heard something like “it is supposed to be”. Who makes the rules and why these rules? Overturning traditions has routinely inspired my works and grown to be the new norm of my design. For any inspiration, a strong grasp of the its origin and the context in which it lives is key to incorporating it into the design. Skillful adoption of familiar elements from everyday life through extraction, abstraction, transformation, brings the design close to the intended audience. Visual hints not only resonate with the audience and help build an experience which feels natural and intuitive, but also ensure they are engaged in the challenging or provoking messages the design tries to convey.

Indeed, every work of mine has been motivated by curiosity, and, frankly, often by confusion. There is too much in this world that is unknown to me. When a question comes up, instead of rigorously studying a subject outside my speciality, I would rather use my artistic creativity as a tool to experiment with novel ideas. One day it occurred to me: if pets have a society like the human society, would there be a division of labour? Realising I could only think as a human and needed to get a pet involved for interesting magic to happen, I let a cat sit in front of my laptop and type on the keyboard. After a while, he had typed quite a lot. I documented the entire process and collected his inventions, which later became the project Human Pets Care instruction.

Most artworks are sentimental, expressive of the artist’s intention. Although every individual sees an artwork differently, the first impression is usually dominated by colour, pattern, etc. Everyone receives the same visual data created by the original artist and yields their own interpretation. In an attempt to un-visualise artworks, what if we deprive artworks of the canonical visual characteristics such as colour, pattern, and texture, but instead rely solely on natural language and mathematics to transcribe them? The audience then takes the transcription as input, makes the reverse conversion through their own imagination back to wildly different visual data, and finally sees a unique artwork. The role of the audience is shifted from a passive receiver to an active visualiser who is a conscious, distinguishable, integral, and pivotal component of the artwork. For example, the ambiguity of the word “yellow” prompts endless possibilities of visualisations of the colour, as everyone allows their own variation of yellow to form in their mind. I hope my work provides an innovative means for the audience to enjoy artworks—apart from seeing arts with their eyes—reading arts with their mind, and to achieve a personalised, unique experience.