Questioning the Concept of Kindness
The project requires us to critically question the idea of the word that was given to us. My word is kindness. So here’s my critical, perhaps a little too cynical, view of kindness:
Kindness is good. It could be seen in the smile of others, the service towards another, the comforting tone from someone’s voice. It makes us feel better and allows us to have hope in this often dry world. Being kind to someone requires selflessness and a genuine heart. We often wish for others to be kind to us and to spread kindness rather than hate or anger. But with this, we’d need to somehow wear our hearts on our sleeves and allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
And probably because of this, kindness is often seen as weakness. Which could perhaps prevent us from being kind towards others.
I wanted to focus on how we need to freely give or sacrifice a part of ourselves to be kind – making us more vulnerable as humans. With this, one of my initial ideas was to create soap, being that as we use it, there will be lesser soap, much like the idea of being vulnerable and sacrificing one’s self. However, I was hoping to create an installation setting that could also be interactive. Therefore, I decided to stick with my first idea.
I had the idea of creating a barrier for the ball, which represents our hearts being covered to protect ourselves. The ball will contain water inside, which symbolises life, as water gives life to nature. The dry soil represents our lives and hearts when we lack kindness or positivity. The initial idea was to create a setting for my installation. I wanted to hang balloons above dry soil to represent how kindness can bring about life in the dryness of our society. After which, Peter mentioned that there is something intriguing about looking at a wrapped ball on a stand when he saw my sketch. Hence, I decided to explore the idea.
However, I thought it would be too rigid, as the balls would not be able to hang or move freely, disabling the conveyance of how we are able to freely be kind if we wish to. Thus, I decided to revert back to hanging the balls, but decided to get rid of the made-up setting and move outdoors to allow for a natural setting.
Creation of the yarn balls:
Finding the location for the balls:
The interactive part comes with popping the balloon, which I hoped to have brought some sort of joy to the viewers or even the person popping the balloon.