Crying Out Loud!

Secretopia: Reflecting on crying and visualising the beauty of tears

11 Oct 2017

Together with artist Karolina Ferenc, photographer Maurice Mikkers, designer Yi-Fei Chen and professor Ad Vingerhoets, we will bring you a night filled with tears. Normally, crying is associated with weakness and is seen as useless. Yet it is a healthy behaviour both biologically and in the important social role it fulfills. Through showcasing the works of the different artists we will show you how beautiful, practical and important tears are.

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Yi-Fei and her Tear Gun - Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven  Ronald Smits

With: Yi-Fei Chen

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.


Emotional Creatures by Karolina Ferenc - Hans Bänziger, Karolina Ferenc

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.

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. 


Imaginarium of Tears- A crystallised tear. - Maurice Mikkers

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.


Secretopia: Crying Out Loud!
Wednesday 11 October
Program starts at 20:30
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam

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