From My Family Album (2017) – A Boundary Crossings Installation Piece

Ran Sheng_From My Family Album
Boundary Crossings Exhibition PNCA August 2017. Co-curated/taught by Rose Bond and Birgitta Hosea.

Title: From My Family Album

Date: August 2017

Location: 511 NW Broadway, Portland, USA

Methode: Digital animation, double projection on sculpture

Soundtrack: Appropriated Chinese pop music and American punk music

Size: 6 x 6 x 8 ft.

“A mixed-media memoir generated by childhood memories through the lens of current circumstances. Using the family photo as a carrier, I explore how childhood experiences have affected the development of my personality – what made me who I am?”

From My Family Album is an installation that fuses multiple projections. The main material draws from digitalized family photographs in combination with animation, sculpture, and vintage pop-songs, to create a multi-sensory experience. By using the family photo as a carrier, I want to emphasize the dramatic contrast between my inner struggle and outer appearance, and explore how childhood experiences have affected the development of my personality. This project is not only an opportunity to create an art piece for public exhibition, but also as a chance to reconcile childhood memories. The installation has been designed to evoke universal common emotions for an audience, such as fear, anxiety, yearning, sadness, etc. It encourages people to think about “what made us who we are?” Besides that, the process of developing the piece allows me to get a new perspective on my growing pains and struggles. It has already met the goal in this regard.

The installation has been exhibited in the Shipley/Collins Mediatheque of PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art) on August 11, 2017, as part of the PNCA Boundary Crossings public show: Performing Identity. Also has been selected and included in Triumph over Adversity exhibition during October 12~27th, 2017.

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  1. The “From My Family Album” installation piece by Ran Sheng, is a thought-provoking and emotionally charged work of art. The piece, created in 2017, is a Boundary Crossings installation that explores the artist’s personal experiences and cultural identity. The artwork is inspired by the artist’s family album and aims to question the traditional boundaries of family and cultural identity.

    The installation consists of a series of mixed media pieces, including a sculpture, photographs, animations, and video projections, which are displayed in a way that invites the viewer to engage with the work on a personal level. The use of a variety of materials, such as old family photographs and Chinese pop songs from the 1980s, creates a sense of nostalgia and connects the artist’s personal experiences with a larger cultural context.

    One of the most striking aspects of this piece is the way in which it challenges traditional notions of family and cultural identity. The artist has used his own family album as a starting point to explore the complexities of identity, the fluidity of cultural boundaries, and the intergenerational transmission of cultural traditions. Through this work, the artist is able to blur the lines between personal and cultural identity, creating a space for the viewer to consider their own experiences and perspectives.

    In terms of style and technique, “From My Family Album” showcases the artist’s technical skill and mastery of mixed media. The use of sculpture, photographs, animations and video projection in combination creates a rich and layered visual experience for the viewer. The artist has also made smart use of projection and composition to guide the viewer through the piece, creating a sense of intimacy and personal connection.

    Overall, “From My Family Album” is a powerful and thought-provoking work of art. The artist’s personal experiences and cultural identity are the driving force behind this installation, making it a highly engaging and emotionally charged piece. Through his use of mixed media and his exploration of the complexities of identity, the artist has created a work of art that will resonate with viewers long after they have left the exhibition space.


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