Everything is connected Part 17

30 okt

Last week I went to Eindhoven to explore the Dutch Design Week. The last 12 years I saw the graduation show of the Design Academy Eindhoven grow into an internationally appreciated design and inspirational event. For me it’s the event of the year and this year I took the time to see and read ALL works at the DAE graduation show. It took me 3 days to read the book (460 pages) and see my selection of work and speak to the alumni. The coming days I will share some of my favorite works.

The last work I shared on this blog  was Notion Motion of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (1967, Copenhagen). Over the past fifteen years Eliasson has built up an impressive body of work consisting of rainbows, sunsets, waterfalls, aromatic walls, mist, beams of light and periscopes. At the exhibition this notion of motion was realized by Eliasson’s fascination for motion and the elements, in this case water.

From Notion, Motion and Water to Emotion and Frozen Water with Yi-Fei Chen’s ‘Tear Gun’;

“Her upbringing in Taiwan has instilled a deep respect for authority. Disagreeing with your teachers is considered rude, and must be suppressed. Coming to the Netherlands for a Master’s degree was a shock to her system. Within Western higher education, students are taught to question authority and expected to take a critical attitude. For many students like Chen it can be a confusing and emotional journey to adapt to such a new set of circumstances. The pressure they feel to step outside their own comfort zone may even cause drastic responses. Chen has visualised her personal struggle to toughen up and speak her mind with a striking metaphor: she has frozen the tears she shed during an incident where she had to speak up but couldn’t, and built a gun to fire them. Next time a teacher puts her on the spot, she will be ready to respond with equal force.”


Mental authority leading to fierce inner conflict because of cultural difference and tears which are collected, frozen and shot. All resulting in physical authority.

At her graduation Chen pointed her tear gun at department head Jan Boelen. The process took time to prepare, to load, to pump. Boelen became visibly uncomfortable with having a gun pointed at him.

Chen maintained her rhythm.

And fired.

The tear hit him and melted.


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