Tear Gun is a strange-looking pistol that collects tears in a silicon pocket under the eye, freezes them in a brass bottle and shoots them like bullets. The design is Chen’s final Master’s project at the Design Academy of Eindhoven, and a way to visualize her personal struggle in a poetic way. She designed the gun after her then tutor Jan Boelen (Z33) pushed her to take a critical approach and confront his opinions, forcing her to confront her obedience to authority that stems from her Taiwanese cultural conditioning. But all she could do was cry.
Tear Gun was Chen’s way to express her previously repressed emotions using design as a vehicle to stand up for herself. She told Inhabitat after that episode she decided to embrace her emotions, and to “just accept the tears, but also take advantage of them.”
Photos by Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat and Yi-Fei Chen