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Goldfish In a Glass Jar

-Xiangwei Kong, Jianing Li

This installation is a collaboration that consists of 2 emerging spaces. We focused on an abstract concept of a feeling of helplessness when we facing controlled domestic violence in the past. By recalling our own memories, we discovered that we both have similar childhood experience in the family life aspect. “Goldfish in a glass jar” is a phrase that can describe our situations in families. There is an old Chinese saying goes “Blood is thicker than water”, which means Family relationships are stronger than any others. However, it is usually easier to hurt people who are closer to you without notice and when the pain accumulates, you have the willingness to escape. By the time you are prepared to leave the glass jar, you are restrained by your bloodline. Eventually, you make a compromise in order to maintain a perfect family on the surface.

In this installation, we used retro furniture including an armchair, flowers vase, tea table, mirror, and photo frames to depict domesticity. Empty photo frames represent absences of parenting. The furniture had been destroyed in a controlled way and fixed improperly, but at the same time, it remains the beauty superficially. The organic form leads the audience’s eyes from photo frames to mirror which implies that our emotions towards violence are moving closer to a broader of collapse. Different tones of light sources would lead to a gradual change of the atmosphere from softness to tension.