Secretopia: Shedding Tears

Donate your tears for the sake of art

6 Jul 2017

Together with artists Karolina Ferenc, Maurice Mikkers, Yi-Fei Chen and Ad Vingerhoets, we will bring you a night filled with tears. Will you cry from joy, anger, or cutting onions? Your tears (you don't need to cry though) will be used for demonstrations of the artists works, providing us with a platform to think about crying.  Normally, crying is associated with weakness. Yet it is a healthy behaviour both biologically and in the important social role it fulfils. How can we change this negative stigma surrounding tears? How can we bring out their beauty? 

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Dr. Ad Vingerhoets

Ad is an expert in the field of stress, emotions and quality of life. He has spent more than 20 years studying when and why we cry, and how the study of crying may help us obtain better insight into human nature. His special interests include adult crying, the (non)expression of emotions, homesickness, nostalgia, quality of life, and suffering. During the event he will give us an insight into the findings of his research at the department of medical and clinical psychology of the Tilburg University.

Karolina Ferenc

Some insects drink tears from the eyes of large animals, such as cows, deer, birds and sometimes even humans. In Karolina's work "Emotional Creatures", tears are shared with other creatures to drink them. By doing this she found a way for crying not to be 'useless' or 'embarrassing'. Instead, an empathic connection is made between the human and the other creatures. 


Emotional Creatures by Karolina Ferenc -

Maurice Mikkers

After having bumped his toe, Maurice needed to cry. Despite the pain, he had only one thing on his mind: to capture one of his tears, put it under the microscope and photograph it. So he did, and with the microscope he could see intriguing crystals that were forming in his tear. This incident, which took place in 2015,  eventually led him to create a full project, called the Imaginarium of Tears, on the photography of tears wherein he visualises the story of each tear. By now he has fully mastered photographing our saddest secretion and found out much more about the crystals inside them. During the event he will demonstrate how to photograph and crystallise tears using tears from volunteers in the audience. 


Imaginarium of Tears by Maurice Mikkers - Crystallised tear -

Yi-Fei Chen 

Taiwanese and Dutch culture are distinct in many ways, so Fei discovered during her MA in Social Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven. 'Tear Gun', her graduation piece, was born from a clash of cultures. Her upbringing in Taiwan has instilled Yi-Fei Chen with a deep respect for authority, contrasting to the critical attitude students are encouraged to have within Western higher education. Chen has visualised her personal struggle to toughen up and speak her mind with a striking metaphor: she has frozen the tears she shed during an incident where she had to speak up but couldn’t, and built a gun to fire them.


Yi-Fei and her Tear Gun -

Information and Tickets

Secretopia: Shedding Tears
Thursday 6 July
Program starts at 20:30
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam

Tickets: €7,50 pre-sale | €10 door | Students €5!