Yuntong Chen

Exclusive Memory

Class of: 2024

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Installation

Faculty: Bryan Melillio

Prompt: In this project, I would like to make explore Chinese heritage loss which plays an essential role in shaping individuals' identity and living styles.

Shikumen structure is an ancient architecture in Shanghai, China. People destroyed most of them in order to build more shopping malls to enhance the local economy. The original complex form of Chinese words were simplified in 1949 in order to encourage literacy. Both the building structure and the complex form of Chinese words are heritage loss to China. The meaning of heritage is far apart itself but a symbol of a period and special memories to specific one generation. Furthermore, it proves people’s identity. The purpose of this project is not criticizing, as I understand that the dilemma exists between preserving the past and embracing the future. The meaning of it is to memorize the things we’ve lost unwillingly and accidentally. Hence, I used foam boards to represent the stone bricks of the structure, and straws to make the words. I did a collage to connect both elements together but still in broken pieces indicating the vague memory in people’s mind. I added some mirror paper in it to indicate that the memory is sweet. I called it exclusive memory as it only exists in the past and has long since disappeared. However, I still hope that, along with the development, it still should be the precious memories in everyone’s mind and are passed from generation to generation.