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Contemporary Art Practice (MA)

Nat Zhang

My Grandfather Wei Lin is currently 86 years old, and he has chronic hearing issues which makes communication with other people, such as his family, hard.

The work tries to construct a mechanic-multimedia installation for simulating this experience of the deterioration of hearing problems due to old age. I realize that he can only follow other people’s conversations with hysteresis, and some contents go inevitably lost from the moment fading.

In this work, there are five sets of installation, within each of which, there is a system that contains a 12cm x 12cm ice cube on the top of the shelf with a pair of radiators on both sides. The radiator connects with a speaker by an electronic cable, and the frequency of the output from the speaker determines how much heat the radiator releases. On top of each speaker, there is a resin-made water-containing structure, and the water melted from the ice cube drops into this vessel. The bottom of this water-containing structure is the vibrating surface of the speaker, and the more water there is on the top of the speaker, the lower the frequency of the speaker’s output is.

This installation work was exhibited in our family’s warehouse which is full of Tenon architectural wooden components from ancient buildings of Hui Zhou culture. The structural timber is collected by my father, and this interest is also partially shared with my grandfather. The histories of these components overlap with my grandfather’s life. 

Wei Lin — The Deterioration of My Grandfather’s Auditory Faculty

Information equality is a life-long pursuit, as well as freedom from it.