Featured Artist Eugenia Kim is a PhD student, originally from the USA, who’s been living in Hong Kong and studying at City University since 2015. She creates dance narratives for virtual reality environments inspired by her own experiences of having adolescent bipolar disorder.
Her hope is that her dances help viewers understand on a physical level what it’s like to have bipolar disorder. She also hopes her VR dances encourage families to support young people in getting treatment. Eugenia has been making dances about bipolar disorder since 2005 as a release from her condition and for her own enjoyment. She’s also been delving into dance cinema with a focus on using movement to express mental health-related narratives.
Her research and dances are aimed at helping others, like her, who prefer the digital realm, or have a hard time going outside, or expressing themselves simply through words. She also creates dances for the families and friends of adolescent bipolar patients, who might be worried about being seen attending any activity or public event related to mental health.
Eugenia’s VR dance preview, Lithium Hindsight, is a work-in-progress. She is keen to reach out to others who have the condition and are interested in her work. Her academic research for her PhD explores: How can phenomenology can be applied to create dance pathographies for virtual reality environments about adolescent bipolar disorder?
Eugenia will be writing a column, Virtually Eugenia, about her research and experiences with adolescent bipolar disorder for Mental Ideas and Bipolar Hong Kong. She’ll also be a guest (in person, not just virtually) on the Mental Ideas Podcast.