Public spaces, isolation and community.

#Connecting Cities

Recently I came across an art exhibition taking place in Athens by a young artist called Candy Chang. Her creations, the showpieces are based on interaction with the audience and are resembling a social experiment.

More specifically, this artist through the activation of public spaces around the world provokes playful and profound visions of how we can connect, reflect and cultivate the health of our communities. This made me wonder whether or not public spaces in cities serve us in the most beneficial way considering that the purpose is for us to develop a strong bond as a community. Candy Changs experiments are based on exactly that, exploring and determine the threshold between isolation and community.

As I researched her art work this one project called ‘’Kissing, Crying and Freaking out in public’’ caught my attention as it reflected more accurately on the matter. This project is also an interactive and social experimenting one. Taking place in Hong Kong, a series of public installations were enacted in order to explore the boundary between public and private, the isolation and connectedness of people and also determining how technology, messaging or buildings can mediate with someone’s perception of solitude and community.

Candy Chang ‘’Kissing, Crying and Freaking out in Public’’.
Candy Chang ‘’Kissing, Crying and Freaking out in Public’’.
‘’By adopting the visual language of Hong Kong’s municipal signage, these unexpected and incredibly personal questions force the busy pedestrian to reconsider her emotional relationship to the city and suggest new possibilities for the way we describe our places’’.

Seeing this art project has had a great impact on my way of thinking when public spaces are concerned and helped me to better understand the thin boundary between isolation and community. It also raises a question about the relationship between public space and mental health and the dynamics between individual liberty and social cohesion. So concluding, Candy Changs art can be considered as a sample showing how important public spaces are in order to create a foundation for a well living society but how do we enact such a thought?

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