with Mi Chen


How do we exp-
ress our past family traumas through art?


Mi Chen, also known as Stella, is a Communication Design student at Parsons School of Design. Her thesis topic explores the question, "How does our traumatic experience with our family-of-origin impact our adulthood?" She approached this que-
stion in two different ways. First, she did a short film consists of video interviews with Chi-
nese students and asked them about their past family traumas. Second, she designed a virtual exhibition showcasing different traumatic exp-
eriences that happened in multiple places in her house. Each traumatic experience is expressed through a form of digital art. In this episode,
we talked about how to express our deepest and darkest emotions through art, and how creating
>art or films can give us some sort of closure.

Mi Chen's Website
Me, Them, Before 18 | 我,他们,十八以前|The Stories About Family-of-Origin
Transcript with visuals:


Mi Chen: Yeah, we're all Chinese. We all came here for college. We're all studying art, meaning that our families are not like, broke or anything, but also like not crazy, rich, something. [...] We went through very similar things too, but like, their backgrounds, and our backgrounds are very, very different. Because how like China changed
and like how the society changed, and everything. So I feel it's a very specific group of people.


Mi Chen: Yeah, I'll just need to finish the book and see if I can find a way to create this virtual reality thing to make people feel like they can walk into this exhibition space, and in other words my home.


Mi Chen: And at the same time, I do feel like drawing with color pencils gave me more space,
for example, like you can see in this one. Like this very childish house, the style of that house that every five year-old would draw. I feel like I wouldn't draw a house like this, if I'm doing it in digital illustration.