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Project Brief

Today, it is common for people to do makeup and edit their portraits before uploading them to social media. While the pursuit of beauty and perfection is understandable, many people, including friends of mine, feel anxious about their looks without all these "edits." I launched this social experiment to explore how arts can help people feel confident about their "true" selves. 

"Kintsugi is an aesthetic principle that celebrates breakage and imperfection rather than concealing or rejecting it," said Petya Andreeva. Inspired by this perception of beauty, I want to find out if breaking down, regenerating, and abstracting the portrait can help people look at themselves differently, which may help boost their confidence. 


Experiment Information


Breaking down, regenerating, and abstracting the portrait can help people look at themselves differently


Crystal is a female actress


7pm - 9pm on Sep. 14th 2022


See diagram below


*Portrait of the participant is taken on Sep.12th 2022



Original (OG)                  |            Participant Edited (PE)                |       Van Gogh Filter (VG)

Switch Face (SF)             |                      Liquified (LQ)                     |          Tricolor Filter (TC) 


Result + Interview


Beauty & Perspective

88 % of Crystal's work came from the VG, but Crystal doesn't think this picture represents her best or is the most beautiful one.

When we look at things, sometimes we are attracted by the unity, but sometimes by the details. When we look at ourselves and others, we should try to appreciate the beauty from both perspectives.

When I told Crystal that all of the photoshopped versions used her original photo (OG) rather than her edited version (PE), she was surprised. She looked at the OG again and then said this (OG) is better than I thought.


Beauty & True Self

Me: "Which one do you think represents you the most and why?" Crystal: "I think the purple one (SF) represents me the most because it shows the two different personalities inside my heart."

Me: "Which one do you think is the most beautiful and why?" Crystal: "I think the most beautiful one is the one edited by myself because I'm very satisfied it, and I think that's how I look at myself."

No one is perfect. Being true to yourself and being confident can make you beautiful. 


Crystal created this abstract artwork in a unique way. First, she collected all the small pieces in her hand and threw them into the air. Then, she laid out the pieces according to their relative positions on the ground.

I took a picture of her work and then rearranged the pieces (RG) on my computer according to their labels. It turns out that 88 % of Crystal’s work came from the Van Gogh Filtered Version (VG); 10 % came from the Switch Face Version (SF): and less than 1 % came from the Original Version (OG) + Fish Eye Version (FE) + Liquified Version (LQ) + Tricolor Version (TC); None of them came from the  Participant Edited Version (PE). 

This is a social experiment prototype. Do not use it for scientific purposes.

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