Hui Wai-Keung

Disappointed Narcissus

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  • Year : 2003
  • Title : Disappointed Narcissus
  • Media : Interactive Installation 

This installation expects at least two spectators' participation. Each participant is invited to stay and stand in front of a projection screen. His/her live image is captured and projected back on the screen, thus, the participant looks at the screen as if he/she is looking at a normal mirror. However, the "mirror" does not reflect a full image as the participant expects, but an "incomplete" image masked and shaped by an uneven outline. The uneven outline actually comes from the captured image of another participant.

This work just challenges the concept of self-sustained independent individual. In the first-person perspective, we just expect a full reflection of ourselves in the mirrors; and the images would not change provided that we do not move. I am the only one who has the total control to change my own self-image. However, what my participants get in this installation is a reflected self-image shaped or masked by the images of others. Say in another word, I can only see myself in others' images. I am your mirror and you are my mirror. A participant's presence in the image is thoroughly dependent on the presence of other's image. It responds the intersubjective relationship, in which "individual" is not independent, and an "individual" only can get the shape of "I" in the shapes of others.

The participant could move himself/herself to look for a "better" or a "more satisfied" self-reflection, but at the same time, his/her movement is changing the image of another participant, who then might move himself/herself to respond. A non-stopping feedback loop and mutual relationship is eventually resulted. What the participants see is actually a result of their changing mutual relationship. It is a process of cooperation between participants. They could find out the "best" desired image, which is defined in their consensus. The consensus and cooperation run in our daily social relationship.

 Setup Diagram #1

Setup Diagram #1

 Setup Diagram #2

Setup Diagram #2

 Setup Diagram #3

Setup Diagram #3