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Experimental Communication

Shuyi Zhou|Booth

Booth, sound artist, graphic designer, craftsman. Born in China.

By integrating and remodelling images, videos, and sound, Booth’s work breaks from the static expression of traditional graphic design and invites us to explore the space between looking and listening. Recent projects include Sound Calendar and Dream.

Sound art is like a record my of personal understanding, which, when displayed, might touch people's memories and emotions. I have always wanted to record my life in this way. 

These sounds, which can be heard everywhere, are distilled and concentrated but not meant to express any particular meaning. My intention is to communicate the specificity of the everyday. These seemingly insignificant sounds unwittingly reveal and celebrate individual experiences of ordinary moments. At the same time, these moments connect us with the world. No matter where we are or how different our backgrounds are, we just need to feel the emotion of each sound, each moment.

Sometimes, I ask myself: what modes of communication work best? Those that make people understand? Or those that raise questions? I don't know. Maybe there’s no right answer. What happens is one thing, how people interpret it is another.

Sound Calendar - Video of practice — Sound has no shape, just like the wind, and I try to use particles to give it an image.
Sound Calendar - Zine — Printed zines and calendars with embedded QR codes allow people to access sounds from a particular day.
Physical calendar
CD — Sound and visual conversions are often used in the design of music album covers. I try to translate my own understanding of the recorded sound into graphics to convey to the audience.
Phone application — By scanning the code, people can listen to the Sound Calendar from around the world and share their thoughts with the author.

With regard to the neglected everyday, I want to recreate it in an acoustic way. For me, sound is "visible". The moment I hear it, I can touch a certain part of my memory. It’s direct contact with emotion.

Sometimes my recordings are short like a few seconds, sometimes longer up to a few minutes. In doing so, I capture the ephemeral nature of sound — existing only for a moment, for a short time, before moving on to something else. I look for connections with other events on the day I record them. The playlist provides a thematic space to wander.

The sounds I recorded throughout the year were extraordinary, with the COVID-19 outbreak causing people to keep physical distance and stay at home for long periods of time. In a sense, this was not a bad thing. We paid more attention to things around us and became better listeners, with everyday sounds becoming louder in our ears. I encourage people, especially those still in lockdown, to do the same — find and document the bright spots.


sound / polaroid /video


2*video 1*zine 1*website
Dream - 庄周梦蝶
parallel world
It could've been just another dream.
mirror image
Daydream - 南柯一梦 — When she was a young girl, she did not know that she was dreaming, and thought that everything was real. But when she woke up, she had to go back to her original position. 人在少年 梦中不觉 醒后要归去。

I really enjoy recording dreams. Every dream is like it's really happening, like you've experienced it yourself. And there will be a moment when we wake up from the dream, haven't even opened our eyes, but the thought remains like a memory that can only be remembered part of the time, or perhaps we forget everything.

But how do we know if we're dreaming? What are the criteria for determining when we are dreaming and when we are waking? Maybe the dream is in another parallel time. The consciousness of the "I" in that time and space overlaps the "I" who is sleeping at this moment, allowing me to live her life and experience her life. From beginning to end, I was floating in the air, looking at the world as if I were a spectator with a third vision.

There is an old Chinese saying that Zhuang Zhou (commonly known as Zhuangzi) dreamt of being a butterfly. In the form of a story, Zhuangzi explained it as follows: In the past, Zhuangzi dreamt that he was transformed into a butterfly. How happy and comfortable he felt! In this moment he did not know that he was Zhuangzi. He woke up suddenly and was dismayed to discover that he was Zhuangzi. Is it Zhuangzi's dream to become a butterfly, or the butterfly's dream to become Zhuangzi? There must be a difference between Zhuangzi and a butterfly, but it's hard to tell.

In my understanding, Zhuangzi's meaning is that the body and consciousness have changed, but the heart has not. People do not recognise the innate mind.


sound / Voice graffiti