Qing Wang is an illustrator from China, currently studying Information Experience Design at the RCA. She is interested in telling stories in multi-media and uses narrative language to explore psychology and sociology.
“Mushrooms in the Room “is an interactive picture book. This story is adapted based on my friends around me and my own experience. I always chose to stay in my room to avoid problems. I actively used my virtual identity to participate in the community, but my loneliness and anxiety remained unresolved, exacerbating my fear of real life. In the new media technical communication, we broke the distance barrier but found that body language gradually lost its original position, even making communication, in reality, an obstacle.
We constantly share and communicate in the digital world to prove our existence. However, long-term addiction to virtual environments can once again lead people to fall into the anxiety of fear of loneliness and lose themselves. The AR section of this picture book uses AI as the reference, providing more assistance and possibilities for personal painting learning and exploring new narrative perspectives through AR technology from another perspective. Inspired by “House by Day, House by Night”, mushrooms symbolize negative emotions in this story, and the room is a virtual comfort zone and a petri dish for mushrooms. Addiction to the Internet does not solve the problem. On the contrary, it makes us more isolated from the outside world.
This picture book aims to inspire young people to explore their nearby surroundings. In the past three years, we have lived in an area without worrying about the lack of supplies. Most aspects of our life and work are online, making many shops and streets deserted. As a consequence, we have lost our connection to the memories of the nearby. However, the nearby space plays an essential role in helping young people, especially highly sensitive ones, understand the world.
When young people want to perceive the world, their first step is to understand their nearby environment. They attempt to get to know the shoppers, workers, children, and other nearby citizens, engaging in conversations and building trust with them. By understanding the lives of those in the nearby vicinity, young people can reflect on what separates and brings people together.
Looking towards the future, if we live in a world without distance, would that be beneficial, or would it increase our anxiety? The answer is not unique. The city lockdown and the convenience of online services have become shared memories for the Chinese population. I plan to record this year's experiences as a picture book, using a relaxed way, leading readers to reflect on our lifestyle.