Alisha (Yuhong) Yang, a research-based master student at the University of Toronto, Industrial Engineering discipline, a UI designer and Data Visualization Analyst for SunLife Financial, the Performance Director/Vice President of ZigZag Dance Crew and a professional Urban dance instructor at Z5 Dance Studio.
Why did you get involved in this project?
Course work (KMD1001).
Did the one week turn-around for the work help or hinder your creativity?
Not really, since the video is short and there are no requirements for the final format or theme of the final product. The time limitation is good in a way to make me more productive and doing thing based on my instincts.
How did you feel about working on a project where you didn’t know who you were collaborating with?
It’s totally different than how I'm used to working with others, where the team often plans the whole thing together for a long time before implementation. However, working without discussion, and how interesting it is to see how the final products will turn out to be, also working with people from different fields contribute various perspectives on different themes, which is also very intriguing.
Has being involved in the project changed your thoughts on creativity?
As an engineer and UI developer, I’ve trained to plan everything clearly before conducting anything, since it often create struggles at the later stages. This type of strategy, indeed, helped to reduce a lot of design cost, but it removed a lot of design opportunities right at the beginning, since we have to decide and push forward. The project brought up the questions about the trades-off between productivity and innovation.
If you worked on several videos, what kept you coming back for more and how many did you do?
I worked on 3 projects, including writing the prompt, preparing the materials and editing the video and collaborate with 9 other people without the group communication. It’s interesting to see how the final products turned out and how each person comprehended the message from other’s work and try to consolidate it in their own ways.
In the project where I needed to edit the video, where the prompt is “ask the water. it has all the answers for the questions you did not ask. once upon a time”. From this prompt, my feeling towards the wording was that, intuitively, I can sense the accumulative power of this humble and basic source of creating small and magnificent result and we should always trace back our own “water” to answer the dilemma that we are facing right now. I was imagining there will be a lot of natural form of water in the collection of the video and picture folders. However, it surprised me.
The videos and clips included the infrastructure of water pipes and plants which are not very visually appealing and some beautiful flowers and plants that were formed by the flower. The previous artist might have wanted to express how a pretty looking creature is supported by the thousands of humble, regular and ordinary things.
My goal was to emphasize from the water to the channel of water to the small creature created by water and the more majestic macro establishments that have supported by the water. In the end, I want to push everyone to ask their own water, to ask their own support and review what has made you a person now. The process made me want to join another project to prepare the clips, since the preparation part has the least amount of restriction and limitation.
The third one’s prompt was “Meditation, morning yoga … another episode of baby yoda. Virtual calamity. Neighbours get together somehow, somewhere, we find humanity.”
When I saw the word meditation, I thought of yoga, sitting which is the traditional way of doing meditation. A little bit later I thought it should not be imitated to a specific form, anything that can be linked to or beneficial to clearing out negative thought and finding inner peace is a form of meditation. Especially for different people in society, people might not understand the culture of meditation, but they still used other tools and methods for searching for serenity and staying positive and passionate. Thus, I expanded the thought to more elements and included more pieces in life that can really unite people from all around with different backgrounds to still stay positive and together at this time. The video clips that I created include sitting alone, sunrise, nature, tea, tree, candles, swan, family picture, white wall etc….