Alice Wong

I assumed the truth about my father’s violent death would reveal itself if I would just investigate enough data on the event. But as I gathered new information, the truth seemed to become even more obscure. I discovered how our minds constantly reconstruct reality and turn it into multiple stories. A ‘real story’ is an oxymoron.

My father was murdered in 1992 when I was 3 years old. During the initial stage of my thesis research I concentrated on finding out what really happened. As I researched archives and spoke to different witnesses I found out they all had completely different perspectives. Their stories were framed in different ways. The more I learned about the events that led to to the killing, the more unlikely it became that I would ever find the truth. At that point I shifted my research to understanding how reality is constructed in our minds. 

I investigated how the different ways of storytelling contribute to our constantly changing perception of reality. I did not only consider the work of fiction writers and movie directors, but also the importance of storytelling in the reports and recollections of psychologists, forensic scientists, historians, detectives and my own family members. To represent all these perspectives into one design project, I developed a movie script in which the personal story builds the red thread, and a collage of different ‘voices’ invites the viewer to see how reality is constructed and reconstructed time after time.

Storytelling can create a reality that engages audiences to feel urgency, a sense of threat or justice, or simply the need to believe in truth.

Graduation project, 2015