Art Installations Narrative/storytelling

The Deluge Within

"The Deluge Within" is a dual-screen video installation exploring the concept of "skin-ego." The visuals in this project were created using mental imagery from the past year. By stitching together these fragmented images, a new layer of “skin” is formed, uncovering an image of self in the subconscious level.


Keer Zhao


Sharon De La Cruz


Our minds are like a glass vessel filled with water. The vessel constantly receives stimulation from the outside world. To respond to all stimulus, the vessel comprises, in a destructive way, developing cracks to balance out the pressure endured. These cracks, much like the mental fragments that surface from our subconscious, fleeting yet in nature, highly concentrated distillations of past experiences, memories, beliefs, and emotions. This entire process is spontaneous – the vessel has no control over when, where and how the cracks appear, so do us. The Deluge Within is a collection of my mental imagery from the past year. Those mental fragments were recorded in words and sketched on stickers. Each fragment arrived at different times and places, yet they share common threads, giving birth to a self-contained story made of fragments. Each element contributed to the story's protagonist's journey or constructed the world she inhabited. And the commonality among those fragments, such as “falling”, “dimensionless space”, “hanging”, “redness”, “floating”, “blood”, “destruction”, becomes the linkages that connect various scenes the protagonist goes through. The fragmented nature of this process is reflected in the duality of the character. In The Deluge Within, the protagonist is trapped in a world of redness, while in her dream, she evolves into another self that constantly falls out of various dimensions. The two coexist, collapsing the beginning and ending into a looping narrative that folds into the same point. The story is told from both the observer and the protagonist’s perspectives. A dual projection system is intentionally set up to play both perspectives at the same time, creating a sense of space when viewers stand in-between the two screens.


I came across the term "skin-ego" while reading Paul Vandenbroeck's book, A glimpse of the concealed — body, intuition, art. He describes it as an unconscious construct that pertains to the singularity of the self, serving functions such as preservation, buffer, envelopment, individuation, and intersensoriality. The skin-ego is similar to the skin, which holds together a range of heterogeneous elements. In the same way, the skin-ego contains a myriad of psychological elements. The concept of the skin-ego inspired me to take a more intuitive approach to my creative process. Instead of setting a specific goal, I recreated my mental fragments in 3D software one by one, without any initial connection between them. Gradually, I was able to piece together a story by looking at the visuals, and a character emerged to navigate through different events and scenes. The process is challenging as it required a lot of self-reflections and was akin to entering into a vortex, falling down deeply and endlessly. This is my first time fully immersing myself in something, and such a method of creation is an experimentation for myself.

Technical Details

Mirrored silver skinned monsterProtagonist broken into pieces with red liquids rushing out of her body