Szu-Han Lin

Not Leave But Remain(detail) door Szu-Han Lin

Not Leave But Remain door Szu-Han Lin

Over het werk

Houtskool op papier
300 x 300 x 300 cm

“Nostalgia” is made up of the two Greek words “Nostos” and “Algia”. “Algia” means “suffering” or “suffering for something”.”Nostos” means “to return”, “to go back”. Therefore “Nostalgia” represents “pain for a place or time I want to go back to but can’t”. It is a sentimental longing for the past – our connection to a particular space captured in a particular temporal frame.

Although nostalgia involves reflecting on past experiences, because it motivates affective states, behaviours and goals, it can also influence people’s future lives. Reminiscing can also recall episodic memories from the past, which then often trigger thoughts and desires for the future. Vice versa, imagining our future can stimulate us to remember past states and events. Szu-Han, therefore, regards Nostalgia as a future-oriented emotional experience, drawing from the past to create the future. With this in mind, how does nostalgia, and reminiscing about past living places, impact desires for future homes?

Everyone has experienced migration to some degree, whether it was to search for a better livelihood or because of natural or man-made disasters. In Szu-Han’s 33 years of life, she has relocated nearly 40 times – sometimes willingly and others not. The places she used to regard as the most intimate spaces may have been abandoned, destroyed, or razed. Some may have completely physically disappeared from the world.

In 2020, Szu-Han investigated these relocations by physically revisiting her past homes and collecting the textures of each space using a charcoal pencil. These textures map the transient relationship between people and their living spaces, serving as a tool for recollection by evoking the trivial details in the background of our memories. In the temporal context of our liquid society, the thousands of imprints traced from the surface of walls, ceilings, and floors materialize the cognizant states of how and why we reminisce. Amongst them, nostalgia positions itself as a future-oriented emotional experience, impacting the affective states and desires that drive us, bridged across time and space.

Bridging past memories and present experiences, the work invites viewers to reflect on the impact of the increasing speed and volume of displacement due to accelerating mobility.

Over de maker

Szu-Han Lin (1988) is a socio-spatial researcher and a multidisciplinary designer based in Taipei(TWN)-Rotterdam (NL) who graduated with MA in Social Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven. She is intrigued by things labelled between humans and space in the temporal context of the liquid society. With her particular observation and minimal behaviour intervention, she dedicates herself to hands-on practices and translating sensorial, emotional, and implicit narratives to two- and three-dimensional matters to reawaken people’s perception ability and body awareness to explore the surrounding environment. Szu-Han aims to fabricate visual language as an alternative voice to arouse relational practices of humans and non-humans in a material, societal and cultural nexus.

Not Leave But Remain is de inzending van Szu-Han Lin voor de Open Call EXODUS van het Bijbels Museum en Buitenplaats Doornburgh.