Beyond Characters: The Unseen Labyrinth

"How do we perceive the world through eyes that see differently?"

"Beyond Characters: The Unseen Labyrinth" is an evocative journey through the unseen complexities of dyslexia, articulated through an interactive art installation that bridges technology, narrative, and sensory experience. Merging the enchantment of Chinese fairy tales with advanced gaze-tracking and generative AI technology, this installation immerses viewers in the dynamic, often challenging world of dyslexic perception. As tales unfold, text transforms—morphing from clarity to a visually intricate maze that mirrors the internal and societal struggles faced by those with dyslexia.

At its heart, this project is a multi-layered exploration of language, perception, and the hidden battles of dyslexia, particularly within the Chinese context—a culture where the condition remains less understood. By simulating the reading difficulties that mark the onset of dyslexia, especially in children, "Beyond Characters" engages audiences in a multisensory dialogue, transitioning from distorted text to harmonious visuals and soundscapes. This progression not only replicates the dyslexic experience but also celebrates the unique cognitive strategies employed to navigate a text-dominated world.

"Beyond Characters" delves deeper, challenging prevalent societal misconceptions and biases about dyslexia. It prompts reflection on how cultural perceptions shape our understanding of learning differences and advocates for a more empathetic, inclusive view of cognitive diversity. This project highlights the concept that our perceptions are deeply personal, shaped by individual experiences and cognition, encouraging viewers to reflect on their own perspectives. This immersive experience transcends mere awareness to foster genuine empathy and understanding for those with dyslexia. It underscores the beauty and resilience inherent in diverse ways of perceiving and engaging with the world, advocating for a society that values and embraces all forms of cognitive experience.


Directors: Mingyong Cheng & Zetao Yu

Artist: Mingyong Cheng

Developer: Zetao Yu

Video Editor: Mingyong Cheng

Video Music: AudioCoffee