Yi-Fei Chen (1986, Taiwan, based in The Netherlands)
Tear Gun, 2016. Photography, 45×59,5 cm.
Cov19, 2020. Photography, 45×59,5 cm.
Yi-Fei Chen is a social designer and art director from Taiwan, who currently lives and works in The Netherlands. She finished her Master’s degree in Social Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2016. She describes herself as ‘a cultural hacker and an alternative explorer’.
The work Tear Gun was Yi-Fei’s graduation project: Inspired by her inability to speak up to her tutor during a confrontation – something she hand’t experienced before. Instead of defending herself, only tears emerged from her frustration. She decided to turn her vulnerability into power, building a brass gun that collects and freezes her tears, ready to be fired.
Elsewhere, Yi-Fei’s ongoing project, Cov19, is a direct response to the pandemic that has made face masks a part of everyday routines around the world. In most Western cultures, face covering is considered to constitute a loss of individuality and authenticity, whereas in many parts of the Eastern world, it is perceived as a collective safety measure. Yi-Fei poses the question: “What if using facial protection no longer means losing individuality, but helps users to express themselves like a fashion item does?”