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Digital Direction (MA)

Zhanwei Liu

I am pleased to present to you an installation entitled "Separate Embrace". The concept of this installation aims to explore long-distance intimacy while reflecting on the pros and cons of social media in such relationships.

The project aims to evoke a rethinking of the meaning and challenges of long-distance intimacy in the modern age of social media through the viewer's reflection and emotional resonance. Our target audience is those in long-distance relationships who are separated due to school or work.

In order to give our audience a better experience of the emotions of long-distance intimacy, we plan to use some classic love letters as well as modern social media means such as email and voicemail. By combining traditional and modern approaches, we hope to create a diverse experience that will allow the audience to understand and feel the connotations of long-distance intimacy more deeply.

In this project, we will present the audience with a series of carefully selected classic love letters that represent romance, warmth and sincere emotions. Audiences will have the opportunity to experience the love letters first-hand as they immerse themselves in the emotional world of long-distance intimacy by reading, appreciating and feeling the words. At the same time, we will use holographic projection technology to create an immersive experience. Through holographic projection, the words and emotions in the love letters will be presented to the audience in a vivid, three-dimensional form, making them feel as if they are in the world of the love letters. The audience will be able to see and feel the details of each love letter up close, and this immersive experience will further strengthen their emotional connection with the work.

Through this project, we hope that audiences will rethink and value the meaning and challenges of long-distance intimacy in the modern age of social media. Through the combination of classic love letters and modern social media, we hope to give audiences a deeper understanding of the emotional characteristics of long-distance relationships and provoke them to think about real emotional connections.

Ultimately, through the immersive experience and emotional resonance of the audience, we hope to raise awareness and understanding of long-distance intimacy among the general public. We hope that this project will provide emotional support and empathy for those in long-distance relationships who live apart, while also prompting people to rethink and value the importance of building and maintaining deep intimate relationships in the modern age of social media.

Degree Details

School of CommunicationDigital Direction (MA)RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Kensington, Darwin Building, Lower-ground and Upper-ground floors

Aaron's Pic

Zhanwei (Aaron) Liu (born in 2000) is based in Tianjin and London. He is a multimedia artist, 3D artist, graphic designer, installation artist and interaction designer, with a passion for immersive experience design, graphic design, sound and video design. His areas of research include, but are not limited to, social media and technology and human relationships, post-humanism, fashion and more. His work tends to present art through the use of different media and materials, seeking to produce artworks through his own unique artistic style and insights into design.

Flowing Boundaries Live on site
Flowing Boundaries Live on site
Flowing Boundaries Exhibition
OverviewThe main body of work is a projection installation consisting of an atmospheric projection, three sections representing the past, present and future individually, and stereo sound. This exhibition invites the audience to immerse themselves in a space of flows. From left to right, the three sections follow the time sequence, and each part provides an experience for the audience. They are separately located but also connected to each other exploring the relationship between humans and technology.
Flowing Boundaries Interaction Part
FutureLiving in a digital and technological era, we coexist with incomplete and fragmented information that flows around us. These circulated traces of data, messages, and visuals depict a portrait of ourselves. The pieces of digital rubble created by us will remain as a legacy, conveying a message to the future for reconstruction and portrayal.
Flowing Boundaries Partial close-up
CurrentA probably decaying, and seemingly collapsing present moment, where we reimagine a new embodiment of self A new incarnation and projection of self when looking at the fragments created within the flowing boundaries between humans and technology. The incomplete gaps generated through the process bring contemplation and meditation on the "avatar" that exists at present time in the digital technological world via the "holes" and fluid shapes.
Flowing Boudaries Past Part
PastA once prosperous history has been lost and re-emerged in another form See the past history and glory through fragments and decays. When fusing with technology, it brings illusion and imagination. Observing the incomplete painting reflected by the mirror on the body and looking at the flowing traces from the past.


A projection installation that explores the relationship between humans and technology through incompleteness, imagination, and desire. Through incompleteness, we trace back to the past glory of history, project ourselves into the "avatar" as new incarnations at present moment, and leave pieces of digital rubble as our legacy for the future to reconstruct and portray. 

It seeks to explore the flowing and blurred boundaries between humans and technology when perceiving different times, aiming to provoke reflection on the role of technology in shaping our perceptions and experiences of the world. The audience will stand in front of each section representing different times in the exhibition, interacting with and observing the projection of humans. This will enable them to witness and contemplate our relationship with technology.


Interaction Projection mapping Installation


2m x 1.5m x 1m
Installation A
Installation AOur project directly concentrates on the ontological power of SNS. My world, which formed around me, gradually collapses with the appearance of the others(human-object). In other words, humans are at the center of the world where they have formed themselves, but their status will be taken away as soon as they build a relationship with others.
Photos of the scene
Installation ASuccessfully achieved mapping and live generated image,object detection by using Touch Designer. Map the images to a form similar to a building to create a social media. Although each individual image is separated by a layer like a wall, everyone can easily focus on (monitor) the world of others. With live generated image, object detection and camera, we mainly want to create a virtual image that we are concerned and praised after self beautification in social media.
Photos of the scene
Installation AThe audience is interacting with our installation
Installation B
Installation BDespite the ontological power of SNS, there is a gap between me created through self-objectification and the expectations of my image actually exposed to others. In order to demonstrate such a concept, we propose to create two video installations to recreate and substantialize the scenario of human interactions through SNS in order to examine the authenticity, fertility, and longevity of those digitally built relationships.
Installation B befor interacting
Installation BRBG detection is implemented through Touch Designer. RGB detection is used as the switch to build and expand the viewing experience of images in space.
Installation B interacting
Installation BThe audience is interacting with our installation.


Overall, our project focuses on engaging with urgent social issues and exploring how the power of contemporary media platforms could be

leveraged to instigate positive social or cultural change.

At the same time, by continually and constantly testing and experimenting with these storytelling tools and techniques in relation to the

environment and the audiences, we discovered the “golden ratio” for combining digital storytelling concepts and interactive art as a whole to

present our story with a cooperative and comprehensive technical and philosophical approach. Furthermore, we experiment critically and

creatively with narratives, media, and knowledge within the current social environment to re-consider the role of human and nonhuman species

in the production of digitally enabled forms of experience.


Projection Mapping, Interaction, Installation, Sound design