Cissie Wang

Multidisciplinary Designer
Hi! I'm Cissie (cee-cee), a multidisciplinary “humanity”-centered designer. I design for emotional, irrational, vulnerable, and complicated human-beings.
Thesis Faculty
Dan TaeyoungJessica MarshallColleen MacklinBarbara Morris

"Domain of Tenderness": Dream as a Liminal Space

"Domain of Tenderness" explores the concept of dreams as a liminal space, a transitional realm that bridges the conscious and unconscious realms of existence. Elements of art, psychology, and philosophy are combined through a multidisciplinary approach.

“Domain of Tenderness”

Collective Exploration

My explorations manifested in three distinct yet interconnected components: a series of free-flow drawings, a comprehensive framework mapping the dream-reality continuum, and an immersive installation that invites audiences to experience this profound concept in a tangible, multi-sensory manner.

Part 1: Free-flowing Art
Free-flowing Drawing 1
Free-flowing Drawing 2
Free-flowing Drawing 3

I captured the segmented feelings and emotions from my dream and drew or cut them out within 20 minutes after I woke up from the hypnagogia stage, that liminal space between wakefulness and sleep. Dreams serve as a conduit, transforming my emotions into experience, and imbuing them with a subtle granularity that transcends the constraints of language. The essence of those dreams lies in the narrative of emotions that cannot be metabolized. Whether it is anxiety, anger, fear, sorrow, or despair, my dreams render these ineffable experiences into vivid scenes and interactions. And it is tailored to my unique psyches. They weave intricate plots, populate them with symbolic characters, and craft evocative scenes that resonate with my deepest selves. This is a psychological encoding and decoding process, and I am the only decipherer.

Part 2: The Framework
The Framework: Dream as transition between realities – a Liminal Space

The thesis presents a comprehensive framework that maps the intricate relationships between reality, dreams, and the subconscious, illustrating how waking experiences shape the content of dreams, while the dream narratives, in turn, influence perceptions and decisions in the waking world. This cyclical interplay highlights the fluid nature of consciousness and the profound interconnectedness between the conscious and unconscious self.

Part 3: Immersive Experience
Interactive Installation

The immersive installation follows the framework and is a part of the deeply personal, yet universal, experience of dreaming in a tangible manner. The audience here is not the dreamer, but the speculative observer and force-maker. A black circle with revolving colors is projected from below a semi-clear container filled with water, symbolizing the conscious waking mind. The water’s fluidity represents the dreamer’s malleable psyche, passively reflecting external forces akin to the dreaming process itself.

The narrative spans three stages mirroring the framework. The “reality stage” depicts the undisturbed water’s surface and ordered circle, reflecting the waking state’s placid flow of thoughts and emotions. The “dream stage” invites audience interaction, the disturbances to the water distorting the circle’s shape as colors bleed outward – a metaphor for how waking experiences shape the unconscious dream world, beyond the dreamer’s control. As hands withdraw, the “awakening stage” commences. The water regains tranquility, but the circle remains organically warped with dispersed colors, embodying dreams’ lingering imprint on the conscious mind upon waking. Subtle ripples persist, symbolizing the psyche’s subtle shifts from subconscious processing during the dream state.

“Domain of Tenderness” prompts introspection and reflection on the nature of consciousness, the malleability of perception, and the complex interplay between the external world and the mind through dream realm’s inherent tenderness.