Tear Gun

After an altercation with a tutor, Yi-Fei Chen created this visual metaphor to show her personal struggle with speaking her mind.

Chen was born in Taiwan, where she was brought up with a strong sense of authority and taught that disagreeing with teachers was rude.

Because of this, she struggled to question her tutors when she came to the Netherlands to study for her masters degree.

“The difficulties living as a foreigner in another country lead to high pressures in the study environment,” she said. “Those pressures had been building for 18 months before finally reaching a crisis point during one of my midterm presentations.”

During the presentation, Chen was asked by a tutor to prepare more work in a short timeframe – something she felt impossible.

However, she couldn’t muster up the courage to say this out loud and went on to attempt to do the work. Soon after, she was sat in another presentation where the dean of the school told her she was underprepared.

“I was stage stuck and did not know how to react, but I did not say my thoughts aloud,” she said. “Furthermore, the reason he was angry was that I might have misunderstood him.”

When a classmate stood up for her and expressed her anger at the tutor’s scalding, Chen felt that her “politeness became her weakness” and was overrun with emotion.

“I was too emotional to control myself, I could not hold my tears so I cried,” she said. “I turned my back to the others, because I did not want people to see me crying.”

Chen has now visualized this personal struggle with speaking her mind as a conceptual graduation project – a brass gun that fires tears she has collected.

This happens in three stages. The user first puts on a mask with a silicon cup that catches the tears. The tears are frozen in a bottle, which is then loaded onto the gun – allowing the frozen tears to be fired.

At her graduation, Chen had the opportunity to point and fire the tear gun at head of department Jan Boelen. She took it.


Women‘s Tear Machine Gun

Neurobiologist Noam Sobel at the Weizmann Institute of Science has peered into subjects’ brains using functional magnetic resonance imaging while only sniffing the tears. When men sniff the tears, their breathing rates, skin temperature, and testosterone levels sank and as high levels of testosterone can be associated with increased possibilities for aggression this is a significant discovery and means of reducing violence. 

Based on this, Ken Rinaldo invented a tear gun with bullets filled with women’s tears in an attempt to appeal for the end of all wars and against gun violence.

Click the link below for more details:


Baby Crying Dot Patterns

What does a baby’s crying look like graphically? Inspired by computer graphics artist Georg Nees’ work Schotter, I tried to explore the visual rhythm of four babies’ crying sounds by listing them as tiny dots in Processing. The crying volume affects the size of the dot.


See You, My Chaotic Room


Before I produced this new crying material, I thought seriously about what exactly could make me sad and cry —— It was the unforgettable experience and the sadness of leaving. 

In turn, I began to realize that I am about to leave the place where I have studied and lived for two and a half years. Looking back on this time, I was closely connected to the living space I have inhabited here. Especially during the epidemic, I spent most of my time in my room of the student apartment: online courses, doing homework, cooking, and communicating with my parents who were far away from me. More importantly, even with the endless homesickness, this room gradually became my “home”, a place that gave me a sense of security. when I thought of leaving this place, tears flowed down my face. Because it carries most of my memories, in each corner, there are all traces of my life.

So I decided to pick up my camera and record it before I left it. 

Technical explanation 

I obtained the point cloud model of the room by photogrammetry. This model was computationally generated by about 200 photos that I took. I also animated a short room tour.