The artwork is composed with three related creative ideas: 1. I use a dual projection system to project the 3D image of a large cluster of butterflies onto the front wall of the entrance. As viewers put on the 3D glasses, these beautiful butterflies are vividly flying in front of us. 2. In order to satisfy people’s desire to touch or to capture the butterflies, I build two fake gardens and project the image of butterflies right above the gardens (on the ceiling). When viewers put on the white gloves and reach out their hands, the image of butterflies is projected on the palms. It is an interactive work full of fun as it plays with reality and illusion. It is particularly effective in a dark room where viewers can see the 3D butterflies and they can try to capture them to fulfill the desire of possession.
After humans capture the butterflies, they want to keep them as specimens to preserve their beauty. I use acrylic to make a “screen,” while the luminescent LED helps to create the “specimens” of the technological butterflies. However, the butterflies are not real. They are simply 3D moving images created by 3D image projection and lenpicular lens. Every specimen has its own registration number as if it were an experimented object being appreciated and mourned after their destruction.
The series works again emphasize that if human beings fail to protect or cherish nature, the day will come that we can only appreciate, capture, or mourn for the “reality” we once had. The “reality” will eventually be replaced by the illusion – the virtual reality. Ironically, the butterfly specimens are fake (illusional) too. They might be beautiful, almost like real, but they can only be a technological product. Additionally, the 3D butterflies seen with 3D glasses are vivid indeed, but they are merely an illusion (virtual reality) created by technology (3D animation, the dual projection system, the special screen, and 3D glasses). We feel like that we can capture the butterflies on the white gloves, but the image just appears at one second and disappear immediately. It indeed reveals the insecurity and the temporality one feels about technology. The process might be enticing, alluring us into a world of illusion, but when we walk out of the space, we can no longer possess the reality. Soon, we will be overwhelmed by a sense of loss that we fail to separate the reality from the illusion. Therefore, the action of “capture” helps us to reexamine: “what can we really ‘capture?’”