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Information Experience Design (MA)

Ruohong Chen

Ruohong Chen, born in 1997, Chongqing, is a visual artist.

The "hong" in my original name is written as "泓" in Chinese characters. When I was seven or eight years old, I met an abbot during a visit to Mount Emei. He felt a connection with me and asked my mother what my name was. After my mother told him, he asked her if I often got sick, to which my mother replied affirmatively. He then said that there was too much "water" in my destiny, and since the character "泓" also means water, fortune would flow away. So, he helped me change it to "宏."

me, annoyed by those kids.

My art emerges from the intersection of personal observation and societal critique.

With a keen eye for the unnoticed details of everyday life, I use multi-media creation with a focus on visual design to shed light on the social issues that arise from these unexamined corners of our world. My work is not merely an exploration of the visible; it is a quest to make visible the questions, emotions, and thoughts that are often hidden in plain sight. Through my practice, I invite the audience to engage with the unacknowledged aspects of our world and to find new pathways towards understanding and change.

Intern Handbook presenting scenarios (virtual)
Internalised ConfucianismIntern Handbook presenting scenarios (virtual)

Internalised Confucianism

This project primarily explores the impacts of the internship system and Confucianism on the socialisation and identity of people in Chinese society. In China, the internship system is fundamentally rooted in the hierarchical structures of Confucian philosophy and is used as a widespread socialisation mechanism. Such a system often places ‘interns’ in a suppressed role, where in the behaviour and identity of young people are suppressed. This creates an unequal social relationship between the participants, where potential growth and development may be inhibited. 

By creating a satirical handbook, titled "Intern Handbook”, I aim to delve deeper into the essence of the internship system and the socialisation that happens during its process, does conforming to these norms truly allow us to integrate into society as genuine social beings? By giving readers heightened awareness on their position in these systems so they can question, challenge, and redefine the system.
Interacting with a new puppy at home made me reflect on socialization and hierarchies. The puppy, as it enters human society, needs to be socialized to fit our needs. I, as a human, hold a dominant position in this relationship, while the puppy takes a subordinate role. Through rules, rewards, and punishments, I help the puppy adjust to family life and society. This process mirrors the rules and hierarchies in human socialization. It also prompts the question: What rules shape our behavior and socialize us?