by Esther Zhang2022

Particles is a series of explorations about how the intervention of different textiles could alter human’s perception and interaction with intangible and amorphous objects.

a girl playing with particles installation
a girl playing with particles installation


In Particles, a series of immersive art installations, Esther Zhang embodied the intangible objects with abstract visuals, sounds and tangible textiles in an enclosed space, in which audiences are allowed to interact with the tangible objects to experience how materials and environmental factors shape people’s behaviors and perception.

Esther admires the beauty and wildness that abstract visuals created from digital softwares. She believes that projected visuals on a single solid screen engender too much sense of alienation with audiences. Therefore, she experimented inserting a new layer with various types of fabrics, and even strings to allow audiences to more closely engage in this art installation. She is very intrigued by exploring the nexus people create when interacting with tangible layers. How do they perceive the abstract and ever-changing visuals? What is the visual embodiment that each individual defines under one’s comprehension? What are people’s conscious or unconscious behaviors when they interact with various fabrics? Overall, Particles is a series of explorations to probe interactions with different textiles interventions.

first-person view during interaction


Inspired by the essential philosophy of Chindōgu, the research started with explorations in deconstructing and understanding interactions, which led to a series of questions: Why do people make “logical” assumptions before interactions? Why do people unconsciously or consciously incline to behave in a specific way? What rules are embedded in people’s minds and how? What factors could influence the interactions and how? Esther sought answers from The Art of Interactive Design by Chris Crawford. Besides theoretical study, Esther attained inspiration from the artist Nam June Paik’s project Zen for Film, which includes audiences as an uncontrollable and ever-changing creative element to integrate the project.

Technical Details

Touch designer, Madmapper, Kinect Azure


Tulle fabric, string threads

materials used in particles installation

for more info: https://vimeo.com/716575301.