recollection (2019)
Product | Memory | Archive


Music: Teesy - Opa
soundcloud.com/teesyofficial/opa


|  Memory  |

My top artist on Spotify last year was Patrick Bruel, and one of his songs that I played on repeat was Que reste-t’il de nos amours.

Que reste-t-il de nos amours
Que reste-t-il de ces beaux jours
Une photo, vieille photo
De ma jeunesse
Que reste-t-il des billets doux
Des mois d’avril, des rendez-vous
Un souvenir qui me poursuit
Sans cesse

What remains of our loves?
What of those fine days of yore?
A photo, an old photo
of my youth
What remains of the love letters
the months of April, the rendez-vous?
A memory that pursues me
without fail




When I heard the song for the first time, I was in Berlin. Now, every time I listen to it, I think of the city and my life there. The day when I added this song to my playlist, was Feb. 27, 2018.

Jan. 22
I flew to Berlin. It was a gloomy day. I was very nervous speaking German with the taxi driver. I also had some difficulty opening the door of my apartment. But yeah, I started my life there.

Mar. 01
That was the last day of my German course. I wrote an essay about home. I wanted to write about Berlin, but didn’t eventually. I wrote everything in German on my notebook, but as I had an African classmate, all I practiced in that class was French.

Apr. 16
I hung out with my first friend from school. She has a French first name and a German last name. I was late for almost 30 minutes. I got lost for some reason. The very last time I saw her, I wore a pair of white socks.

June 12
I wore a bandana grocery shopping. A woman came up to me asking what type of tofu was best for soup. I assumed that she took me for a Japanese chef.

July 15
I was at Klunkerkranich drinking Grolsch with my friends. I got a message from Sara. She found us an apartment in Brooklyn. I realized I needed to leave soon.

Aug. 17
My last day in Berlin. I took another look at my apartment before I locked the door. I didn’t see the hot air balloon on my way out. And I had to leave.



|  Process  |



|  Overview  |

When a journey ends, trivial moments become memories, and mundane artifacts we lived with turn to monuments. Travelers have a love-hate relationship with their keepsakes, as these objects bring out emotions but also take up space. The project Recollection proposes a possibility of elevating everyday artifacts to special souvenirs and transforming them into digital mementos for better memory preservation.

Recollection consists of a physical diary, Berlin Souvenir, and a digital product, Momento. Berlin Souvenir revisits my personal memory of eight months in Berlin. The diary is composed of selected objects and textual records, representing particular days during the stay. The vitrine-like containers display artifacts, calling attention to their role as souvenirs. Momento, using 3D scanning, makes it possible to discard physical objects that one may have difficulty parting with. The application allows users to create diaries with their digitalized keepsakes on display, serving as a multimedia archive for individual past life events.

Recollection seeks to explore storytelling as a format through object-centered narration, to provide a new solution for the documentation of experiences, and to encourage the audience to be attached to and detached from objects collected throughout life.
Materials: polyester, acrylic