Hannah Jiang

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🔬 Creative Date – The unit of life

“The components of a thing and the thing itself are driven by the same source, and it is seamless between the significant and the implicit.” —— Cheng, Yi(1033-1107)

A friend of mine(Xin Yang) had set up a solo exhibition at Klein Sun Gallery located on the lower west side of Manhattan. The theme of her exhibition is “Micro”, she painted microorganisms in human’s body with test tubes, slides glasses and injectors to present another world in the ecosystem that can’t be perceived by naked eyes.

I had been to Yang’s studio in Beijing, it was full of test tubes and needles which made it more like a biology lab instead of an art studio. She always has an obsession with the micro-ecosystem, through these series of work, she wants to present a new form of visualization that life can be considered as a series of intelligible mechanisms.

Our body is formed by cells, cells are formed by atoms, atoms are formed by tinier particles… What is the smallest unit of life? How different is it from the 1s and 0s that form the digital world? Before going to the exhibition, I helped a friend test her prototype, she asked me to close my eyes for 5 minutes to clear my mind from stress and think about people or places I like. After I swept away my thoughts on holiday plans and homework, I started to hear the noises around me. Ignored the noises, I thought of a relaxing experience of me and my roommate in Beijing enjoying a SPA together, from there, all the memories of my life in Beijing started flushing back, my friends and my cat. The 5 minutes of meditation made me realize how homesick I was, it also inspired me to think if there was a solution that could allow me to travel back to home within a short period of time.

I was imagining a door through which I can travel between Beijing and New York in seconds, it sounds impossible but so was telephoning 140 years ago. When we call our families or friends, our phones convert our voice into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted as radio waves and converted back into sound by their phones. Can we build a machine that can turn our body into particles that are easier to transmit then convert them back to a body using a receiver?

The homesickness and the extraordinary exhibition made me think a lot about life, the way it exists and the way it vanishes. It didn’t make a big change in my life, I’m still in New York, planning for the holiday and the end of my first semester, but I did learn a little bit more about myself, step by step, and I think that is meaningful enough.