Scraping off the previous idea of Existentialism, we have finalized our whole concept into a post apocalyptic bunker with narratives scattered throughout the room. Audiences get immersed into it as they explore the abandoned room gathering pieces of information of that happened in this bunker. With these information, they will form their story of what went in the bunker. (which you are going to figure out now~)
Plot & Character Development
With Ruyi’s advice, we worked on creating a plot within the bunker. Here’s the gist of it.
And that’s why our installation is called Bunker 143.
143 stands for “i love you” with the numbers of letters in each word. Out of love, sometimes the choices we make in turn contribute to our end. In Chinese, “爱死你” means i love you so strongly till the death of me. It can be seen in our narrative. The father went to took his child’s blanket despite the bird flu outside. He soon caught on the virus and died. The mother killed her child to free her pain and misery from the virus. She in the end committed suicide because of the grieve and guilt. So, its really “我爱你爱到我要死”.
I love you so much until i want to die.
Conceptualize idea into reality
- Reference images
We are inspired by the “isolated from the world” feel when creating this bunker.
At the same time, we wanted to evoke memories from the audience and set the premise of a loving family in the bunker. Hence we dug out our old stuffs and found some precious items from our childhood. Another reason why we used old items was also to give a time stamps of the period when the family were trapped in the bunker. All these objects are carefully selected to convey the lifestyle and information of the characters. The drawings and toys to show the innocence of a fun-loving child even in a desperate situation. The father’s devotion to ensure the child was catered to even if the objects resulted in clutter and were useless in practicality. The mother’s pre-existing condition of anxiety and unstable mental state through her medication.
- QR- Audio diary
The speech in each audio log was designed in such a way that the audience could start with any one and still be able to piece the story together. This was to help the audience as there was no feasible way to guide them in sequence without disrupting the interactivity and immersiveness of the set.
Intro – “Febuary 28, it’s been 2 weeks since my family and I entered this bunker. Both of them are holding up well, they seem okay with this arrangement. Everything will be well soon… right?”
“April 17, The room seems smaller than ever, there are too many things in this bunker. Why did my dumb husband bring so many things? Do we really need the old snow-globe? It reminds me of our honeymoon in Paris from way back. *Sigh…*”
“May 30, she looks so happy, playing with her dolls. her toys are all over the place and it’s been getting in the way, but she’s happy so I’ll bear with it. She keeps asking for her blanket, but she still seems to be having fun playing board games with me and drawing. I’ve been cleaning up after her non stop but if it keeps her happy I’ll do it. I can’t wait for the day we can get out and she can live properly again.
“August 26, We have enough food for another 6 months, if the virus doesn’t clear up by then then what will we do. I tried telling him but he kept saying it was fine, that we would be ok. But what if we aren’t? Why can’t he see that we’re in trouble, why does he never, ever understand. If he cares so much for the child why can’t be understand that having enough food is better for her than having all these toys. I don’t know how to do this anymore, he isn’t taking this seriously. ”
“Oh no oh no. . . .he went back to get her blanket. She wouldnt stop crying… He said that it will be okay and that nothing bad will happen. FOR GOD”S SAKE THERE IS AN EPIDEMIC OUT THERE and he. isn’t. back…its been 3 hours… oh no oh no… if something happens…. He is back he is back!!!”
“…He died today.” *long pause* “How could he leave us just like that? Just for that stupid blanket. I-I can’t take this. I need to lie down.”
She keeps sneezing recently, and she looks so pale and skinny. back before he died she kept going near him, I’m sure she’s caught it. she looks sicker every day, I can’t watch this again
*sighs, soft crying, then thumps onto the floor*
Surveillance footages were taken by each of us at different locations to cover more ground. We simulated the way how surveillance camera locate and shoot. Thus the videos mostly show panning shoot recording empty spaces that lack of humanity to create the post-apocalyptic situation the family faced previously. The CCTV footages pans on empty areas, and it gives a feeling as though something is going to pop out at you.
Multiple screens were playing on a several laptops in different parts of the room, with one master projection against the wall.
The main projection is tested out with different cellophane colour over it. The red was too harsh like horror movie while the blue gave the desired cold, distant atmosphere that we were striking for.
The sound is constantly on loop. With the dominate sound being the cricket sound overlaying the whirring noise from the fan. The mix of unsettling mechanical noises and the sounds that you can hear at night when you are alone walking on the street adds to the sense of isolation in this bunker.
- Glow paint
It is to emulate the presence of blood. Allows the audience to ponder what exactly happened on that area. Especially when Audio Diary Log 8’s QR code is situated there.
Most of the story are pieced together. Some form their own version of story from all the information like some thought the mother was uncaring and self-centered and some had different ending to our plot. All sort of interpretations are welcome! It shows the audiences are engaged in our set. What im really happy about is that the nostalgic objects in the room did trigger memories and their association to it. They were mostly the drawings and five-stones. Huimin enjoyed the room a lot as it resembled the 60s game that she played.
It was very interesting to find out how each audience interpreted the set and perceived each part of the room differently. It was amazing how we could find that room that work so well with the vibe that we are going for. Although the blood could be more realistic if there wasn’t logistic issues. Nevertheless, our team did a great job and we worked well to put off this installation with various elements.
Every ending of an installation
At the very end, u can see our awkward thumbs up shot