Why are human beings fundamentally different from animals? It can be so because people are able to think rationally, and because people are able to use and modify tools to live on. Humans can also live in both communities and in solitude, and have language and symbols as a means of communication. It is the only quality that humans have to think and project the future. Humans are the only ones who are able to imagine the nonexistent. This is why we have the phrase “what if,” the subjunctive mood, to discuss what is not true or real.
Hypothesis is an idea which is suggested as a possible explanation for a particular situation or condition, but which has not yet been proved to be correct. Hypothesis can seem like a word to discuss what would happen in the future, but we include the past, present and the future in the hypothesis what we put the plan in words. The sentence of hypothesis is perhaps a road that passes by the present to head towards the future. We are already living in the world of hypotheses. Development of science and technology are all results of hypotheses for a better quality of life. In the Middle Ages, people had strong belief in religious teachings and thought that God’s decisions directly influenced people’s path in life. But with the emergence of technology in the 19th century, predictions based on religious prophecy and imaginations turned into scientific data and definite results. Preparing for the future had become the work of humans, with people no longer blindly dependent on holy beings. As such hypotheses throughout history has played a significant role in human life, it is something that people can be dependent upon.
However, hypotheses at times can be unnecessary, as to causing anxiety and fear. All our choices leave records, and there is nothing that leaves no trace. People are very sensitive about their choices, predicting the possible outcomes, whether they be positive or negative. It is most likely that people wish to make decisions that do not leave negativity in the world. In the movie “Take this waltz (2012),” the protagonist Margot worries says that she is not afraid of missing the flight, but that she is afraid of the anxiety coming from the thought of missing the flight. Such is a clear demonstration of our common worries, as we tend to worry not about the incident itself, but of the supposition that it might turn out negatively. If hypotheses are left out as anxiety about the unforeseen future, we will never be free of our minds, unable to expect a better future.
Hypotheses are perhaps there for those who dream of their life, which is why I wish there were no more who worry about their hypotheses. Some often consider dreamers as too innocent, and they might be those who think reality is harsh and more important. Those who give up their property to achieve their lifelong dreams of travelling around the globe, and those who try their best to fulfill their childhood dreams are people who extensively live on their lives with “what if’s.” Without these “what if’s,” life would be much gloomier, with no expectations for a rosier future. This is why I want to suggest to those a life full of hypotheses and “what if’s,” especially to those who have lost themselves in the harsh reality.
What if 1: To buy, 2017, Video Installation(Shopping carts, Steel, a bearing), 500*3500*947
In the course of our daily lives, we all make assumptions in many different situations. This project aims to shine a light on how people make assumptions and how they affect the decisions we make in daily consumption. Shopping is the most representative example of assumptions we make in everyday life. Our shopping decisions tend to be repetitive, developing habits and assumptions of quality, as the ego of the human mind wants to view the choices it makes as the ‘right’ ones and creating a constantly deepening brand and product loyalty. This exhibit is specifically designed with a physical installation as well as video footage to demonstrate the process of the shopping mindset as well as the eventual ‘reward’ that any given consumer will receive from the act of shopping itself.
Four shopping carts are connected to a center frame so that they can rotate. It lets people push a cart in various directions, but they cannot get out of the framed area and eventually the rotation becomes the same. In this installation the framed structure represents a metaphorical meaning of the cycle of the assumption that people follow to decide whether or not to buy a product. To extend the metaphor, it also shows a video containing people who buy incorporeal things and a wordless receipt is presented to signify that they don’t actually consume anything. Thus, it emphasizes that people can see that the process of assumption, and eventual consumption by extension, is a product of their imaginations.
What if 2: Past, present and future, 2017, Chanel Video Installation
This project is a video installation with three interviews. Each video screen shows three interviewees’ dialogues about the past, present and future. However, only present stories are played through the speaker so that the audience can clearly hear it.
The audience can pick only one story from all of the interviewees’ past and future stories and hear it through earphones. It emphasizes choosing one perspective for one story so that it also makes the audience feel the limits of time in the past and future. It contrasts itself by clearly showing the present videos from the other times. Therefore, people can understand the present tense is clearer and more real, which helps them think of what we can actually see and understand in our own lives..
The three video screens tell the present story via speakers in the exhibition space. The audience can only hear the three interviewees’ past and future stories through the earphones, and they can only select one of the past or future stories. This set is designed to emphasize the present over the past or future as a way to make them focus more on the present day rather than what has already passed or what is yet to come. Eventually, the audience is meant to realize that the present should hold most of their focus in their lives as well as in the exhibit.
What if 3: To beat 3, 2017, Mixed media and installation
White cylinders - simple, sleek, easily understandable. But what if they were something more? This installation is designed to challenge the initial assumptions of the viewer when they see a set of white cylinders and come to judgments before closer inspection.
This installation is specifically designed to subvert the audience’s most basic expectations and present them with a whole new surprise. Despite initially appearing all the same, each of the white cylinders is made of a different material. Audience members are encouraged to move, manipulate, and even hit the cylinders to make different sounds. The audience interaction is also recorded on video to be shared with other audiences so they can compare reactions. The goal of this project is to inspire people to question their initial beliefs and judgments, which we often fail to do even when presented with contradictory evidence.