Blooming highlights the importance of presence and physical connection in our lives.
While our digital, globalized world allows us to always stay connected, what is lost when our most meaningful relationship are mediated through screens? Drawing on research from developmental psychology on the importance of touch to human well-being, Park questions how a lack of physical contact and in-person interactions might contribute to feeling of loss, alienation, dissociation, and melancholy.
"Blooming" is an audio-visual interactive installation that responds to physical contact between two to three participants, which takes the form of a life-size Cherry Blossom tree, a common symbol of social ties and the transience of life in East Asian culture. When participants stand before the tree and hold hands or embrace by measuring their heart-rates, gestures, and skin-to-skin contacts, the projection of the tree will flourish in peak bloom; when they release, it will collapse into its pre-bloomed state. The colors of the cherry blossom flowers change based on the participants' heart-rates while they are interacting each other. (faster the heart beats, redder the colors & slower the heart beats, whiter the colors).
When a cherry blossom tree flourishes, as it does in "Blooming", it is a reminder of human relationships at their peak.