This exhibition is comprised of two complementary bodies of works. Each body of work explores the concept of a societal structure where culture and rules erode individuality. The community is ultimately conditioned to behave according to the conventions dictated by the environment.
"Parts of a Whole" is a performative installation which explores my fascination with the relationship between the individual and the collective. It is constructed with fabric, with custom-made buttons and passport photos attached and lighting device. Each button contains a face, and therefore represents the individual. Passport images are used to illustrate the extent of unification.
In the installation "I" is made up of four sets of desk and chairs are lined up to representing a typical classroom setting. Imbedded in each desk is a video screen which plays the same video loop on all four screens. A single performer in the video writes the same Chinese character while another erases the character till "perfection" is achieved. Through my work, I hope to evoke discussions on how societal rules cause conformity and erode distinctive qualities within the individual.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Artists' books; Performance art--Themes, motives; Installations (Art)--Themes, motives; Video installations (Art)--Themes, motives; Photography, Artistic--Themes, motives; Portrait photography
Imaging Arts (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)
Meng, Hsiang-Lu, "Parts of a Whole" (2014). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus