I was given a chance to create a periodic table with brand new letters base on a poem, and we selected the poem “The River of Life”, which depicts and pays tributes to life, memory and time. Among those three elements, I chose “memory” to be my major inspiration of this piece.
I started with the idea of sometimes the connection between different people can be seen as similar experience sharing or memories overlapping. Therefore to manipulate this interest process of overlapping, I used the first letter of the word “Life” (since life is the essence of the entire poem) - L to overlap with each of the rest alphabets, and the order of which alphabet comes first is determined by the time that the alphabet appears in the poem. For example, the letter “E” appears the most of the time - 93, so “L” overlaps with “E” and turn into the first alphabet in the periodic table. The first new alphabet looks like a “L” since the overlapping area of “L” and “E” is a vertical line on the left and a horizontal line at the bottom. The rest of the new alphabets were created with the same logic.
Originally I painted transparent acrylic and cut them into different geometric shapes that formed the new alphabets, but since memory is abstractly blur in our mind, I then replace the acrylic pieces with ice cubes that can melt over time in order to present this blurry aesthetic. Additionally the melting ice also represents time.