Siheyuan Co-House

co-living program
10.1.20 - 11.5.20




This will probably be the most special memory from my 2020.


In July, after I learned that I had no choice but to go back to China to take remote classes in the fall, I decided to rent a siheyuan in central Beijing for a month and live with other Chinese students in US colleges like me, to have a sense of community in this uncertain time. Through friends, and friends of friends, I found 13 really cool human beings, almost all of whom I barely knew at the time.


The 36 days of living in this siheyuan were beyond anything I could have hoped for. With these new friends, I went to art shows, walked on the streets of Beijing at 2am, experienced sensory-deprivation tank, visited a psychedelic guitarist, watched sunrise outside the Forbidden City, visited a worker’s union exhibition, camped under the Great Wall, and watched the US election.


Many conversations happened in the common room from 12am to 7am -- that’s right, because I have “afternoon” classes at Princeton -- about the commonalities between mathematicians and artists, what to do with a so-called elite education, why we want or don’t want to have kids, and our thoughts about love.


We also opened the space to our friends outside the siheyuan every week. Events we hosted include: mid-autumn festival celebration, themed discussions, halloween pumpkin carving, election watch party, and a few casual gatherings. Every event was open to everyone who was interested. At certain points of our events, there could be 30 to 40 people in this little courtyard. And everyone interested was added to our “Friends of the Siheyuan” groupchat on WeChat, which has grown to almost 150 members by now. Because many people in this group met each other at our events, they now share information about art shows and film screenings in Beijing to find people to go together.


The siheyuan was only a beginning, of many beautiful experiences and relationships yet to come :)























Breakfast is Here

short film
2020
This short film was made during the filmmaker’s mandatory quarantine in Shanghai, after she flew from New York to take remote classes as an international student. Focusing on the quarantine workers in white PPE, the filmmaker portrays an almost sci-fi room service experience in the covid pandemic.


















When Nothing Mattered


music video
2020.8


music | Damian Rodriguez
animation | Wendi Yan
editing | Damian Rodriguez












Looking At You


2020.7

interactive web film 
TouchDesigner, Blender, Unreal Engine 4, photogrammetry

Looking At You is a web experience about the artist’s inner journey with the particular loneliness augmented by the ongoing pandemic and increasing hostility between the two nations she considers home. Combining 3d modeling, experimental video, animation, projection and text, Wendi made a web “film” that chronicles the questions she’s been asking herself and the reconciliation she reached towards the end of her residency and her time quarantining alone: “how have my escapist activities intensified my loneliness? How can I stay connected with reality if I am only interacting with others through screens? What do we do if it is fundamentally impossible for humans to feel complete empathy for others?” Looking At You was created alongside nights of musings on these questions. Through this short experience, Wendi invites the audience to join her in thinking about loneliness in this isolating time, and she hopes this work could help some feel a bit less alone.

For a better experience, the artist recommends you open the project link at night on a laptop or desktop.












100


Ableton, TouchDesigner
projected onto the blinds in my airbnb


made on the 100th day of staying home










         
                                                                                                                                               





                                                                                      

         How I feel, trapped in my consciousness                           








MasC


2019
virtual environment created with Maya, Substance Painter, and Unreal Engine 4





a modern mask shop


when self-expression is manufactured and capitalized










Illustrations




︎︎︎ projects details




Super Free Will


2020


Blender, Maya, Illustrator




[article]





Eusapia


--

“No city is more inclined than Eusapia to enjoy life and flee care. And to make the leap from life to death less abrupt, the inhabitants have constructed an identical copy of their city, underground...

“They say that every time they go below they find something changed in the lower Eusapia...And the living, to keep up with them, also want to do everything that the hooded brothers tell them about the novelties of the dead. So the Eusapia of the living has taken to copying its underground copy.

“They say that...actually it was the dead who built the upper Eusapia, in the image of their city. They say that in the twin cities there is no longer any way of knowing who is alive and who is dead.”

                                                                                        --- Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities




















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2

Business Today Illustrations



1
Spring 2019
Intel and Esports: Staying on Top
link


2
Fall 2018
Belt and Road Initiative
link
 



Alternative Book Covers


2018-2019


 

 

 





Gallery for Moses


2019.4
duration: 1 mo

thesis: extreme views of falling and power exchange





Spatial Relationship Study


2019.2-3 
duration: 1.5 mo

thesis: dualities in unity


The model is mainly formed through two triangular volumes that are connected by lines. Similar elements (2 “L” shaped planes in different sizes, as well as a hinged rectangle with windows) mirror each other diagonally across the front and the back.

I used two sets of axes that are 45 degree apart, and employed the two thin, straight lines from the given elevation as two guiding lines of the model, forming an “x” at the center of the plan. The front side follows the elevation plan, with most of the rectangles being planes turned by 45 degrees to the same direction. Looking from the top, the turned plans become lines, while originally hidden “ribbons” reveal themselves as they run from bottom to top, or top to bottom, connecting the two major triangular volumes.  

In addition, I sought to develop my architectural language by forming volumes with minimal planes that connect with each other at corner points, and I explored the hinges in particular.

The model presents different levels of solidity and opennessat different angles or from different sides.











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Soundspace


2018.7
duration: 1.5 wk

site: under the highline,

w. 22nd street at 10th avenue, south side of the street



thesis: 
a parallel experience with what’s above the High Line

a contrasting texture with the structure of the High Line



dark v.s. bright
heavy v.s. light
industrial v.s. organic








around each opening are recordings taken from above the highline

each sound/recording drifts in and out of the visitor’s ears as the visitor move in and out of th

e circular openings


in the middle of an opening, the visitor hear the symphony of all sounds, just as one hears on top of the highline








Mitla in Chaos


2020.2
weaving

Arquetopia Residency
Oaxaca, Mexico







The Drifting World

2018.1

In exploration of the relationship between the individual and the collective, this experimental video juxtaposes zoomed-in visual spaces of bubbles, cooked rice and melting wax, with sounds gathered from public urban settings like in the trains, subways, and on the roads. 

link to video





Floating

2017


These paintings, done in the same summer, collectively reflect my feeling for the world: individuals floating about in the vast wave of the collective. 



Your Half Fortunes

2017
resin, transparent vellum

I asked students, faculty and staff of my high school to write down a fortune for themselves. When they came to the show, they had to flip over numerous resin hemispheres on which texts were suspended until they found their own fortune. Visitors to the show could also write down their fortunes on the cards I had prepared, and stick them around the pedestal.

Many of the hundred fortunes mentioned the words “love” and “happy” - reminders to take better care of themselves. After reading each fortune over and over, one classmate whom I barely knew personally told me she had written an anonymous note for another school project that I shared online, with the words, “I have a constant fear that I am not enough.” At this exhibition, she wrote a card saying, “you are always enough.”

This work enabled me to connect with my community. I felt fortunate to help convey the participants’ tender and honest sentiments with relative simplicity and emotional depth and see how we all share similar hopes and fears.

Life 

Life Soup

2016
performance at RISD


I made paper pulp “life soup” for my audience. Each “customer” could pick up to two life flavors from my menu. I shredded slips of paper with images corresponding to the “flavors” and placed them into a blender with water. Customers could tear away any parts of the self-guidance books on topics including marriage, career, or faith as their add-on ingredient. The paper would deform in the swirling warm water into paper pulp. Customers could then pick a poem from a 500-page collection as their “topping.” Finally, they would “pay” me with life tips they wrote anonymously.

The final product of Life Soup was, of course, not edible. But it was the process of each person making choices that mattered more: what life ‘flavor’ to pick, what issues seemed pertinent, what literary language resonated, etc. It was also interesting to be the artist and observe the process. I watched “happy” quickly run out, and “wealthy” almost remain in full stock. Most of the life tips were about staying true to oneself. 

It was also interesting to be the artist and observe the process: “happy” quickly ran out; most of the life tips were about staying true to oneself.



[Paper]

Neuroscience informs design, now what? Towards an awe-inspiring spatial design


published in
Conscious Cities Anthology 2019:
Science-Informed Architecture and Urbanism



[Gallery]

Awe-inspiring spatial design 
-- with examples from art and architecture


visual supplement to the research

The Architecture of Awe

independent research at UPenn’s Positive Psychology Center, with guidance from David Yaden







1

The Silence that Did Not Let Others In


John Cage, Susan Sontag, encoding/decoding theory
2019.5
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2

Transferred Nostalgia of the Kowloon Walled City


globalization, urban memory
2019.3
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3

On Rational Being and the Gallery Park


The High Line, The Tragedy of the Commons
2019.3
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4

Can Abstract Art Be Propaganda?


Abstract Expressionism, Cold War
2017.5

Academic Writing

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3

Puzzles



1

Let’s Care About Starving Artists

[pdf] [solution]
Princeton Puzzle Hunt 2019
Meta 2


2

Photo Album

[pdf with solution]


3

Calligraphic Cures

[pdf]
Phillips Exeter Academy Puzzle Hunt 2017
Meta 5

Intercollegiate Psychedelic Network [link]
logo, structure chart



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Princeton Coffee Club
poster, ID sticker 


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Princeton Puzzle Hunt 2019
poster, logo, website

  
  
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Princeton Israel Tiger Trek [link]
logo


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PEA Puzzle Hunt 2018
website




2D Design


selected works
2018-2020


Drifting

2017

This was an essay I submitted for my creative nonfiction class.

I wrote several sections that could be read in any order. Topics of the sections ranged from mobile game, contemporary art, to theoretical physics and buddhism.

The sections are all about similar concepts around “drifting” and use similar languages about heaviness v. lightness. 



pdf


Odi et Amo


2017



Santa Hats


2018

Two friends and I put up 70 santa hats around Princeton campus, the last night before winter break started. 

Pop-up Installation


2017.11

My friends and I collected cardboard boxes from the school’s mailroom, and made two half-arches in the main academy building. 
“Let's absurdify life, from east to west. Let us play hide-and-seek with our consciousness of living.” (Fernando Pessoa)