Juliet Wang

Rooms That I Could Never Call Home

Class of: 2027

Major: Fashion Design BFA

Medium: Mixed Media

Faculty: Jonah Groeneboer

Prompt: This project encourages students to think beyond video as a sequence of moving images, by considering sound and installation as essential aspects of the viewer’s experience. How does the soundscape of a film effect the way a sense of time is understood. How can it place the viewer in the context of a film. How does video installation (as opposed to watching video or film on a screen or in the theatre) create a different time-based experience for the viewer to navigate? How can watching video works become an embodied experience? Using examples from class as a guide, students will create 3-minute video works that consider the class theme “embodied.” The project concept of embodiment will then be reinforced through techniques and strategies in sound and installation. This project can take the form of narrative video, performance documentation, or video montage. Original and found footage can be used. Students will create informal proposals in their sketchbooks for this assignment and learn storyboarding and how to create shot lists as a part of this project. Students can work in groups or solo to create this 3-minute video with soundscape or video installation.

As a child, my sister and I used to build forts. Even at home, we still need to create a “safety place”, creating a sense of nostalgia and connection to the ordinary experiences of childhood. It’s a way to assert a measure of control and comfort within our immediate environment.

After growing up, I came to the US to study alone. Living in multiple host-families, I had many rooms, but none could be called “home”. Every time I move, adapting to new environments is like the process of building a fortress. This time I’m building my safety room in the classroom.

I edited a video recording of my video call with my mom, videos I shared with my family, of daily life, and of me moving alone. I incorporated some violent elements by adding a video of my father making threatening remarks to our cat. It was an exploration of the multifaceted nature of my personal identity and the diverse influences that shape my life. Since most of the dialogues in the video are Chinese, I translated them into English and wrote them down on the paper with my child’s handwriting.

I also transformed the space, adorned the walls with familiar photographs, and strategically placed items that held sentimental value. When entering this small space you can watch the projection inside, forming a kind of boundary, separating the people inside from outside. The crowded quiet is wrapped under tables and blankets.

This installation prompted discussions on the universality of childhood experiences, the impact of cultural and personal backgrounds, and the ways in which we navigate the intricacies of identity. By building this space with furnitures and objects nearby, I aimed to create a physical manifestation of the emotional shelter I always sought through rooms that I could never call home.