Installation: artificial tear, wood, glass, electronics, pumps
Tear Set is an installation, a crying machine, distributing artificially fabricated tear replicate of the artist’s own tear. The work addresses the tension and struggles of desiring intimacy. Filled with three liters of artificial tear, it invites the audience to touch the replicate composition of the artist’s emotional tears.
The artificial tear is made of purified water, salt, protein (lactoferrin and lysozyme), carboxymethyl cellulose and sugar. It mirrors the concentration of the artist’s biological tear according to a series of chemical analyses. Sharing the materiality of emotion production, the tear is a hybrid of elaborated sentiments and indifferent mass-production. It weaves materiality and narratives into a social experiment where the simulation, expression and records of emotion become the source of affection.
Human tear film, composed of the lipid, aqueous and mucin layers produces tears. Collaborating intensely with chemists in Brown University, the project carried on four experiments to test the concentrations of water mass, glucose, protein, K+ and Na+ ions in the artist’s emotional tears.
Chemists: Researcher Guozhu Zhu, Professor Domenico Pacifici, Brown University
Industrial Designer: Sean Hongxin Zhang
Wood Structure Fabrication: Shanghai Dperot Furniture Co., Ltd
Glass Making: Niels Cosman