Connect to the subconscious

There is a crack in everyone’s heart, that’s how the light gets in.

Art Healing
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The subconscious mind is something of great interest and yet remains a mystery.

Why do we do what we do? Can we control our subconscious mind?

When I started studying Psychology and Cognitive science, I was fascinated with the knowledge that our unconscious mind takes up about 95% of our brain power and handles everything our body needs to function properly, from breathing and eating to digesting. It also holds all the “programs” that control the way we think, what we believe, the way we feel, act, react, and pretty much everything else that forms part of who we are. The point of it being “unconscious” is that we can walk around not even knowing certain things about ourselves because it exists the way it does. And most importantly, our deepest unconscious mind are inherited energetically or genetically from previous generations and are not shaped by personal experience. But once we learn how to tap into it and live with it, it can also help us unleash our potential that we don’t even know we have. So I started exploring complex concepts to help shine the light on my two hidden mind streams(subconscious and unconscious), and the thought of designing a product to help raise people’s awareness of the importance of our unconscious mind to better navigate the natural storms, chaos, and peaceful abundance found in all of life journeys has lingered on my mind ever since. Just like Dr. Elaine N. Aron once wrote in her book, “After all, a life lived in deep communication with the unconscious is far more influential and personally satisfying.”.

Social Problem

One thing most of us know is that being mindful or being present can engage our unconscious mind and leads to the mind wandering and the surfacing of unconscious associations, giving us a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both our emotional well-being and overall health. Yet today’s society has become more dynamic and complex than in the past. Technology has helped our world and our lives progress tremendously but also causes too much digital distraction. Over-reliance on digital technologies has turned people uncreative and more insecure as most of us rely on all kinds of devices for nearly all our information and entertainment needs, and makes us less aware of our physical surroundings and present. As if People have lost the capacity to find innovative ways to manage boredom. The notion of mindfulness has adopted negative meanings as boredom and led to a consideration that it is a waste of time.


The more I studied about brain science the more habits I formed to support my well-being. Such as spending more time in nature, meditation(mindfulness), putting away my phone for family & personal hobby time, connecting and helping others. They allow me to engage with my unconscious mind via mindfulness. Mindfulness leads to mind wandering and the surfacing of unconscious associations. Notice and practice acceptance of all of them, especially the ones that are unpleasant. Through the process, I am deeply inspired by our mother nature and its pure frequency, and how through the natural mediums such as light, shadow, sound, and color can dialogue with our own souls. And no matter what happened, after the darkness, the sun always rises. We people often forget because of the darkness, the light shines brighter, and their existence is equally important. Through mindfulness, we are powering and teaching our brains to calm down. When we give it new information, we give ourselves a new identity, and we even start to see a difference in the world around us, ultimately we all together can make the world a better place. Just as Carl Jung once wrote: “The unconscious is not just evil by nature, it is also the source of the highest good: not only dark but also light, not only bestial, semihuman, and demonic but superhuman, spiritual, and, in the classical sense of the word, “divine”.


Whether from my quantitative (online survey/papers/books) or qualitative research (connecting with people around and asking prepared questions through conversations), it was not hard to lead me to the conclusion that people feel most calm and mindful when they're inspired by the beauty of our nature, especially the "divine God-Rays". Following the light is the most primitive instinct of human beings to pursue hope and happiness. It brings peace and hope whether in the darkness or in the middle of the forest, where people are more easily to mind wandering at the moment, which we call it mindfulness moment, making people forget their own troubles in life and start to connect with their inner selves or higher selves. After countless research on brain science, I learned that when an individual is mindfulness, some people describe it as boredom, and especially when they are alone, their brain goes into a state of a free or unrestricted form. Scholars refer to a person’s mental status during periods of "boredom" as a “default mode network". In the time spent in default mode, an individual is alone with only their thoughts and no outer stimulation. The experience provides an opportunity for the brain to engage in free thinking, otherwise known as creativity. As Frontiers in Psychology mentions that: “It has been speculated that mind wandering facilitates creativity by stimulating unconscious associative processes that can lead to a sudden insight.” Such activity helps to make use of mindfulness time constructively. Mindfulness time presents the perfect opportunity for a person to apply imagination in several ways, such as constructing their sense of self, or light up the unconscious mind of brain. In other words, to understand their personalities better through critical thought. Due to over-reliance on technology, and high-paced life style, most people have little time for self-reflection, and consequently, their ability to make a better choice diminishes significantly. And In the long-term, the experience may reinforce people’s avoidance of boredom and lead to severe conditions such as anxiety, depression, and social polarization.

Another related research I did for this project is about human brainwaves, also known as neural oscillations. Brain waves are produced when neurons in our brain communicate with each other, they aren’t just responsible for changing our mood, physicians and researchers examine brain waves to understand how we learn and remember, and also to help diagnose disorders of the brain.

Research has shown that there are techniques that use the concept of brain wave entrainment, whereby our brainwaves begin to match or synchronize with the frequency of an external stimulus, like a pulsing sound or a light. We can also use this concept to train our brain waves to a particular frequency during different tasks, especially under those intense situations.  The good news is we can actively reprogram our brain at any age thanks to its plasticity, which means by being mindful of our unconscious, which is more than a spiritual practice, it actually changes our brain’s electrical activity. It helps increase Alpha waves (our relaxation brain waves) and reduce Beta waves (the brain waves of active thought and learning). During the research, I came across another ancient technique that might help heal our brainwaves, it's called Sing Bowl. The sound from Singing Bowls can help reduce stress and promote a sense of calm and well-being, takes our brain to Theta waves which induce a deep meditative state of mind as in this state our senses are withdrawn from the external world and we are able to concentrate on indications from within. The effects of being mindful (practicing staying on the Alpha and Theta waves ) include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, calming the nervous system, improving concentration and logical thinking, enhancing memory, and reducing anxiety, and It helps us in quick recovery of the amygdala (which is associated with emotion) from stress, plays a significant role in minimizing stress, and boosts creativity to a greater extent.

Concept developing through four senses

Stimulating transcendental sensory experience through the visualization of the mindfulness sensation and illuminating people’s spiritual realm to connect to their unconscious mind through the motion of light rays synchronized with human’s respiratory rate, and the healing vibration of the background sound, as if they are physically lighting up the hidden shadows in their unconscious mind.

Exhibition Goal

Create a journey for modern people of breaking free from our reptilian mind, feeling more, thinking less, be present with the moment and tuning into our higher self, in the unconscious mind. Raise people’s awareness of how our unconscious mind have interfered with our behaviors and thoughts, as well as our triggers, biases and emotional struggles such as anxiety and depression. Help people practice being mindfulness and appreciate those cracks in their heart through the past or upcoming journeys and enables them to navigate the behaviors of others with a sense of love, empathy, and compassion. Create a more harmonious and health society.

Exhibition Planning



The visual experiments of the color of light fusion and how it affects people’s moods.

The form of light

When I start thinking about the options for light rays, the first thing that came to my mind is laser since it has a single wavelength and high intensity and can be more visible to human eyes. However, After a couple of experiments and research, I found out that despite its optimized visual effects, the human eye is extremely sensitive to laser radiation. Therefore, I chose softer stage light over a laser light.

The material

I was searching for a material, which has light-transmissive yet will not strongly irritating to the human eyes, for the stool to be placed in the middle of the “God-Ray”. Then I found Acrylic glass. It has outstanding optical properties, it’s lightweight and is naturally UV-stable. When you shine an LED through acrylic, it just goes straight through, but if you give it something to reflect off, such as a rough surface, it will refract the light, making that area visible, optimizing the visual perception to the human eyes.

The visualization of sound

When I did the reacher on the singing bowl I found out that despite its healing vibration sound, the actual vibration and the material are not suitable for everyone, such as young kids or pregnant women. So I decided to only play the background singing bowl sound instead of scheduled live shows, and use technology to visualize the singing bowl sound along with the “God-Ray” halo movement and as well as the led lights placed under the acrylic stool.

Words projected on the wall

These paragraphs will be projected on the surface of an all-black wall, scrolling one by one coded with the rhythm of the whole experience.

3D Design & Technology

To better support the design, I self-learned Blender hope to demonstrate this installation more concretely and provide a sense of immersion. Every time I learn a new software/technology, it opens a new window for me, allowing me to be courageous and take my creative thoughts further. Please check the demo video with background sound for more details. As for technology, I’m currently trying to learn how to use TouchDesigner, Arduino, and other techniques to make all these ideas more concrete and enhance the experience.


Marie Claire magazine

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Installation design