Qin Jie (b.1998), is an experimental experience designer, cross-media artist, writer and product designer. She focuses on the creation of effective experiences of information using experimental methodologies. Her work emerges in many formats, including interactive installation, experimental moving image, theoretical fiction and visual communication.
This project is an experiential journey that informs and questions the way parents in China cope with children’s crying, and possible future impacts on children's wellbeing.
The project began from my personal experience, which has impacted my personality and intimate relationships with my parents. As Michael Trimble said, ‘it is important to cry and respond to crying’; in China, however, nearly half of families find it difficult to respond to children’s crying, and fewer people seek help from professionals concerning crying than elsewhere.
In my project, I am sharing my personal journey through a narrative, with supportive objects and a film, in order to raise awareness and provide more emotional context for families dealing with crying children.
This is the flow of the journey. There are instructions for interaction at the end of each story segment, to ensure the audience knows how to proceed to the next segment. There are also reminder cards near each part of the display.
0. Before it begins, the audience can see an invitation and content warning. The invitation is written with an instruction, to tell the audience to find the first story.
1. When the audience finds a basket with 34 colour pens, they can listen to the story in using an mp3 player. The basket is made from the pieces the child played with in kindergarten. The colour pens are an important object in relation to the narrative, and evoke the child’s perspective.
2. Through the instructions at the end of the first story sound, the audience will find a blue smartphone and listen to the story on the phone. The audience can have an open interaction with the phone, which is a vintage model corresponding to the time period of the narrative.
3. Through the tips at the end of the second-story sound, the audience can find a two-sided card with a mirror. This is a metaphor object, where one side of the card is an offer, and the other side is the “family order". This dichotomy is reflected in the mirror.
4. From the third story’s instruction, the audience will find booklets providing more narrative, which the child is unable to speak.
5. Through the instruction in the booklet, the audience can watch a self-talking video. In the video, the child answers the questions: What she is now; how will she live, and how does she think about these stories that happened to her.
The script storyline unfolds from a child's perspective. The child of different ages will tell the stories following the timeline. It is to show the changes in a child's personality and family relationships during this process. The story will focus on the events and parents’ reactions to the child’s crying.
Consultation Collaborator: Associate Professor Ju Fei, PhD student Liu Zixiao from Tongji University