A hidden drawing revealed by collective imagination

concept | research | prototype | 3d modelling| fabrication

People Through Peephole

"3.3 millions years ago, hominids began writing with stones.

A long time since then, human technology has developed rapidly. Stories became history.

As time goes on, technology renders history obscure.

You are only able to see a fraction of history through 'peepholes' with limited vision.

Write down what you see and reimagine what happened across time."

Audiences are welcomed to see through this "mirror" by a customized peephole device, to reveal a small portion of a hidden black and white line drawing. Audiences are able to freely move the peephole on the "mirror" surface to explore the line drawing.

After their engagement with the work, they will be invited to write down what they saw on the wall with 3D printed rocks. With collective intelligence, a wall of the word cloud is gradually generated by the participants to reimagine the original drawing.

Sullivan Gallery, Chicago, April - May 2019.

After two months of engagement, the drawing was taken off, only left a wall of word cloud.

The writings were erased at the end of the exhibition and digitally archived.


Engagement Planning Diagram

Structure Design

The peephole device consists of two parts, one locates inside the frame while the other exposes outside. With two magnets, two parts are able to move simultaneously.

Function Test

The peephole device is able to move on the surface freely. Wherever it moves, it exposes a limited area of the hidden drawing. The GIF below shows the movability of the peephole device, and the corresponding hidden drawing it reveals.


Based on asethetic and ergonomics, various versions based on size, material, shape and holding force had been tested.


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