Open Sesame
Sasina Eunirankul
A love letter to imagination through visual discovery.
For centuries, humans have had an easier time describing what imagination can do, rather than what it actually is. For me, imagination has a life of its own, being fleeting in its presence and passionate in its purpose. Yet, it is faceless and different for everybody. Each and every human being has imagination in their lives, from the most studious scientist to the struggling design student to even the ordinary joe. What if that individual imagination could be captured in a compact canister just waiting to be discovered?

At the core of this journey is learning about how imagination works in the lives of different human beings with different passions. Interviewing them is a beautiful process where two humans may discover imagination together, with the interviewer having the privilege to witness and visually translate it. When a viewer holds one of these small containers, they hold the small whimsical world that is the imagination of someone else. What does it look like in their lives? Is it a precious jewel or just a whisper of a breeze? What life does it live? Some containers are small, some large; some loud, others peaceful. Inside are microscopic deconstructions of the subject person’s imagination through the hidden details, scraps, objects, and material layers representing their mediums and energies. In choreographing an installation to share these stories, an intimately magical space was created. The space focuses attention to what is hidden inside, with a goal to welcome explorations of imagination through individual engagement. Accompanying interview findings, as well as a final interaction, shape the journey into an enveloping self-reflective experience. By inspiring visitors to find themselves in the nooks and crannies of each story, there may be a joy in discovering the collective patterns that make imagination a gem in our everyday lives.
Research Questions
  1. How do we define the complexity that is "imagination"?
  2. What patterns and commonalities can we find across different experiences of imagination?
  3. How can a person's unique experience of imagination be visually communicated?
Open Sesame is a shift in perspective. It is a love letter to a living, breathing, beautiful abstraction. It is an honor to these stories, and a way to pay forward such inspirations. In discovering how imagination hides in our everyday lives through these individual experiences, one may self-reflect and find a personal connection to any of the multitude of facets that it holds. Imagination is not just a tool for the artistic, or a trait of the young, it is an everyday power that we all uniquely possess.
Connie Hwang–Primary Advisor
SJSU Professor, Graphic Designer
Julio Martinez–Secondary Advisor
SJSU Professor, Graphic Designer
Jila Maleksalehi–Tertiary Advisor
SJSU Professor, Childhood and Adolescent Development
Process Book