My work is inspired by a bad relationship that I had experienced in the past; at the same time, I experienced a painful allergic skin disease called Urticaria. I suffered mental and physical pain, and I chose to turn that pain into inspiration for my visual thesis project. Creating characters and storytelling is my specialty, so I chose to do a graphic novel.
The story of Allergen tells of a caterpillar called Mr. Catpillar, who broke into Eden and was ultimately captured and executed by the residents of Eden. Mr.Catpillar seduces the girl and convinces her to fall in love with him. The girl rescues Mr.Catpillar and hides him in the core of Eden called Giant Apple. Mr.Catpillar gets more and more demanding of the girl, and the girl feels she can’t satisfy his desire, she begins to think about this relationship. One day, Mr.Catpillar eats the Giant Apple, and his waste hatches into a large number of giant nettles, occupying all of Eden, devouring the residents. Then Mr.Catpillar begins to cocoon, hatching into a butterfly that looks exactly like the girl, but with Apple Butterfly Wings. Finally, the Apple Butterfly lets the girl sleep forever and flies away from the Broken Eden.
I used a lot of metaphors throughout the story.
I chose to use traditional media, gouache and colored pencil, that I am not familiar with, so the process became very challenging. I wanted to express myself in a more primitive form, as this project contains a lot of personal feelings. I love the texture of gouache and the indeterminacy of the painting, and challenging myself with this new media.
Everyone has experienced a variety of relationships with friends, lovers, or family. It takes a long time to heal the indelible wounds caused by someone who has done some unforgivable things to you. Thinking back on these bad relationships is like an allergy. It keeps coming back, and it’s painful, but it’s hard to find the source. But the creation of this whole process has helped in my own self-healing.