Reina Mun about Crafting Tangible Narratives that foster Meaningful Experiences and Connections

Reina Mun about Crafting Tangible Narratives that foster Meaningful Experiences and Connections

Greetings dear Reina Mun, we are so pleased to take this time to discuss your fascinating work! We see so much technical intricacy and stunning forms arise from your stream of artistry. It’s seen how often it incorporates different mediums and techniques. How do you decide which medium to use for a particular piece, and how do you integrate them together?

In each project I undertake, I always start by establishing a universal concept or idea that will resonate throughout the narratives I develop. I immerse myself in the physical realm, breathing life into these speculative ideas and allowing them to unfold in the real world. By doing so, I unlock a myriad of possibilities for an authentic and captivating experience that the object can offer. With the narratives firmly in mind, I translate them into tangible form through my hand-drawn sketches.

I envision the physical embodiment of the work, considering how it can interact with people and the surrounding space, fostering meaningful experiences and connections. Throughout the prototyping process, I remain receptive to unexpected discoveries and serendipitous moments that arise from the fusion of different materials, forms, and techniques. Depending on the embedded narratives within the object, I carefully determine how it can manifest itself physically and evolve over time.

For instance, in my project, the Chaotic Timer, I devoted significant attention to generating kinetic motions that revolve around the concept of “chaotic symmetry.” I conducted experiments, exploring various mechanisms and contemplating how to integrate sensory elements, such as sound, with the visual components. A substantial portion of my time is dedicated to testing, experimenting, encountering failures, and engaging in the iterative process of prototyping.

Reina Mun about Crafting Tangible Narratives that foster Meaningful Experiences and Connections

More on the mediums, what is your personal significance behind choosing those certain materials to work with?

The embracement of a broader spectrum of materials in future endeavors remains an open possibility for me. However, it is worth noting that my current endeavors have predominantly revolved around the utilization of industrial materials, namely plexiglass, acrylics, aluminum, brass, and steel. Within the dynamic and swiftly evolving domain of design industries, my creative aspirations have been directed towards offering insightful commentaries on the integration of intimate and empathetic qualities within works. Concurrently, I strive to infuse my creations with an element of playfulness that transcends temporal boundaries and endows them with a timeless appeal.

What is the philosophy behind your work? Specifically, how are you drawing a line between the complexities of technical design with the complexities of humanity? 

The philosophy underlying my work revolves around utilizing technical tools as vehicles to convey and express ideas that resonate on a deeply human level. In the realm of design and art, there exists a tendency for novel technologies to overshadow the essence of the work itself, resulting in an emphasis on the gimmickry of the technology rather than establishing a profound connection with the user. To address this challenge, I strive to strike a delicate balance between embracing innovative technologies and ensuring that they serve as enablers rather than distractions.

I view technology as a means to an end, a tool that can amplify the emotional and conceptual impact of my work, rather than the focal point. By adopting a thoughtful approach, I aim to transcend the superficial allure of novelty and instead direct my efforts towards crafting experiences that engage users on a more intimate and meaningful level. I seek to create works that resonate with the human experience, evoking emotions, sparking contemplation, and fostering a sense of connection.

This philosophy guides my creative process, reminding me to prioritize the human aspect within the design and art landscape. By harnessing the potential of technical tools judiciously, I aspire to deliver works that transcend the surface-level fascination and instead evoke a profound and lasting impact on the user, encouraging personal reflection, emotional resonance, and a deeper connection with the artistic expression.

Reina Mun about Crafting Tangible Narratives that foster Meaningful Experiences and Connections

How important is human perception when it comes to designing your various pieces? To what degree are you considering a human experience into your process?

In the process of designing my pieces, I conscientiously incorporate a range of sensory modalities that extend beyond mere perception, with the aim of constructing a comprehensive human experience. I attentively consider the intricacies associated with sensory, cognitive, and emotional dimensions, recognizing their potential variability across individuals due to diverse social cues, cultural identities, and personal backgrounds.

The human experience assumes a central role, acting as a guiding principle that strongly influences my design process. A significant emphasis is placed on empathetic design, wherein a concerted effort is made to comprehend and address the aspirations of individuals who will engage with my objects. This involves conducting thorough research, gathering user feedback, and engaging in iterative prototyping in order to refine and optimize the user experience.

Do you have any challenges you had to overcome during your time working as an artist that you want to share with us? How has it strengthened or influenced your current practice?

During my creative endeavor, I encountered various challenges that I believe have greatly influenced and strengthened my current practice. One significant challenge stemmed from the interdisciplinary nature of my works. I had to adopt a generalist mindset and acquire knowledge in diverse areas, effectively combining them in my projects. This required me to navigate unfamiliar territory, facing technical and fabrication obstacles that were entirely new to me.

These challenges often proved to be time-consuming and demanded significant effort to overcome and comprehend. However, they have had a profound impact on my growth in my practice. I now find myself more comfortable and unafraid when confronted with new technical hurdles. The challenges I faced as an artist have served as catalysts for personal and professional growth. They have empowered me to embrace new technical obstacles with enthusiasm and confidence while fostering a more collaborative and inquisitive approach to my work.

Reina Mun about Crafting Tangible Narratives that foster Meaningful Experiences and Connections

What inspires you the most when creating your artwork? Are there any specific themes or subjects that you often explore?

My inspiration often arises from topics that hold personal significance and resonate deeply with me. While I don’t consciously seek out specific themes, a recurring thread in my project has revolved around the concept of well-being and the exploration of familiar emotional states such as stress, anxiety, and interpersonal relationships. By drawing from my own experiences and the anecdotes that shape my experience, I find a rich wellspring of inspiration to fuel the narratives in my work. This personal connection infuses my work with authenticity and allows me to explore the intricate nuances of human emotions and the complexities of personal growth.

Can you share any insights into the concepts of reality and escapism in your art and how you explore it?

The integration of speculative design is a crucial aspect of my creative process, where I strive to infuse fictional elements into the creation of objects that exist within the context of our non-fictional reality. One of the primary motivations behind my preference for the physical domain, as opposed to the virtual realm, is the concept of the coexistence of the unreal and the real. By embracing speculative design, I engage in a thought-provoking exploration of possibilities and narratives that may not align with our current reality.

Working in the physical domain grants me the opportunity to create tangible artifacts that embody the essence of the unreal. By crafting objects that seamlessly integrate into our everyday, non-fictional world, I aim to challenge conventional notions of what is considered possible or plausible. This interplay between the fictional and the real sparks curiosity and prompts viewers to question the boundaries of their own perception.

Reina Mun about Crafting Tangible Narratives that foster Meaningful Experiences and Connections

What do you hope to achieve or communicate through your art? Are there any specific messages or themes that you aim to convey to your audience?

My aspiration lies in designing and crafting objects that transcend the confines of gallery spaces, aiming to dissolve the barriers between the people and the work. Instead, I strive to create objects that seamlessly integrate into people’s personal spaces, offering solace, enjoyment, and fostering intimate experiences within their everyday lives.

What drives this motivation is witnessing individuals unfurl their own distinct encounters with the objects I create. I hold deep appreciation for the diverse range of social cues, cultural backgrounds, and personal associations that shape each person’s unique experience, recognizing that these objects only attain completeness through the lens of individual encounter and interaction.

Reina Mun about Crafting Tangible Narratives that foster Meaningful Experiences and Connections


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