Plato once said: “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge”. Most of the time we are unaware of these three things as they have been influenced and sculpted by our interactions with surrounded environment. Thus, make us unmindful on how we express emotion to one another. This media installation visualizes human’s emotional expression by transforming human’s faces into Yaak (giant) if the person is in the negative emotion, Pra (prince) if the person has positive mood and Ling (monkey) if the person is in a playful mood.These transformation is done using computer vision, and facial recognition technique and project on the wall as the mirror for people to realize their emotion.
The tradition Thai dance “Khon” was chosen as a means to represent emotional state ofparticipants.As Julie Taymor once said “When the human spirit visually animates an object, we experience a special, almost life-giving connection.” (cited by Bousquet, 2007) So even the object is virtual we believe we could bring out a certain creative spirits from people in the rush of urban settings. The “Khon”- inspired masks is the manifestation of human emotion in its purest and archetypal form which could be immediately recognized universally regardless of any cultures.
Suddenly, we activate the old ritual as old as human civilization, the dramatic masks! The use of immediately recognized cultural artifact, Khon masks, is by no means arbitrary.The giant and prince in particular are archetypal images dated long before Ramayana back from greek mythology and also appear in the book Genesis.Paradoxically by using archetypal masks we hope to invoke in people primal emotions that could bring forth genuine feelings of being alive and transform the space into a creative and playful urban space in the process. The use of mirror-like display signifies self-reflection. In psychoanalytic theory, the mirror stage is crucial stage in the development of human subjectivity.In simple words, we as human always see ourselves through the looking-glass and create our self-image accordingly.
In conclusion, the Emoti-Khon plays with human subjectivity in a tongue-in-a-cheek way by giving the subject a mask that alters their self-image virtually.
- Emoti-Khon is one of the six selected installation forUrban Media Art Academy Bangkok supported byGoethe-Institute : https://www.goethe.de/ins/th/en/kul/sup/uma.html
- Installation at Transmediale and CTM Vorspiel Urban Media Art Kitchen, Berlin (Emoti-khon)