Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Rachel Berwick

Second Advisor

Jocelyne Prince

Third Advisor

Denise Markonish


My work often takes form in experience-charged installations underscored by phenomenology. The whys and hows behind the work mostly remain unspoken, since I would rather my work speak for itself. This writing project offered me the opportunity to comb through and tell the stories and thoughts that informed the work.

I have built a collection of documentation about the experience of having a sensitivity to moments of wonder in everyday life. These archives recorded sensuous imprints in life composed of mundane phenomena. In the collection there are images/footage of a glimpse of light leaking through cloud crevices; a brush of rainbow appeared before sunset; an optic projection of my studio created by a spherical vessel that I made…These moments are the gems disguised in the ordinary. In them I see us, beautiful individuals who thrive in the world anonymously.

Inconspicuous phenomena built the world, such as air, dust, and light, guaranteeing our inhabitation on earth, vouching for our traces for being alive, grounding our perceptions and awareness. They are transcendental and infinite. I feel the urgency to bring these significant ordinaries to the foreground. In the beam of sunshine cast through floating particles, I saw stars dancing slowly in the air. In moments as such a world beyond its ordinary starts to uncover. There, I realized that we, too, are parts of the imponderable universe. Treasuring the phenomena as the evidence of the unfolding world, I recreate/stage these moments of serendipity in space with hot glass.

This text based project is the first time that I consistently wrote down the momentum that propelled my investigation in everyday phenomena. In the writing, I teased out the belief of paying tribute to the phenomena that reminds us of being.


View exhibition online: Daiqing Zhang, Out in Thin Air



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