Water Memory

Elizabeth Gu


Thesis Mentor: Bee Grandinetti
Format: Web Narrative

Water Memory is a web story and digital exploration of a young scientist who aims to create bioluminescent light in a sunless, dystopian world. On the day her rigorous experiments succeed, her entire life's work is suddenly terminated by nameless bureaucratic administrators. The lab is swept clean, leaving no trace of her precious light specimens. With her lab and position eliminated, she grows increasingly uneasy and hopeless, waiting weeks on end to be reassigned to a new occupation.

As she wades through the uncertainty of meaningless days, she becomes drawn to the ocean and is swept up in a massive wave that leaves her marooned on a small, peculiar island. There she encounters mythical beings that challenge her ideals of personal choice, self-preservation, and what she ultimately must fight for in order to reclaim her agency.

Elizabeth Gu

Elizabeth Gu is a digital illustrator and web narrative artist with an interest in creating worlds suspended between fantasy and reality. She likes to connect these unseen, surreal worlds to the psyche and the internal states of mind that are often difficult to express through words. In general, she is inspired by psychology and alien worlds, and often returns to the concept of finding one’s inner child.

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/ElizabethGu/
WEBSITE: elizabethgu.com



Community Project

Draw Your Feelings

The Language of Images

Emotions and how we experience feelings are always in flux. It’s why drawing and visual art as a whole have always been a meditative practice for myself. Immobilizing those feelings in whatever abstract form that takes shape helps me put pause and apply meaning. This project is all about framing feelings into words, and then applying your own visual language to it. How would you say your feelings manifest for yourself?

How do you experience these feelings?

What are some words to describe it? 

How can you visualize it?

If you could frame it into words,
how does

Putting your visual language together

Anxiety has always been best at overwhelming my senses. It feels violently blinding and ultraviolet to my emotional being. It feels like utter disarray to the point I’m rendered immobilized by fear and expectations (some of which I’ve unnecessarily created for myself).

Depression gets called the “common cold” of mental illnesses and overlaps with many other symptoms. I had a rather difficult time pinpointing this one into words, but I think depression is best described as a tide that crashes and flows over me. The moment you become submerged, you’re already one step too late and it’s already insidiously crept up on you. You’re breathing in the water but it’s not real air.

My experiences with dissociation often feel like I’m no longer connected with the human condition anymore. It’s like compassion fatigue but mostly geared towards  myself. I begin to feel robotic in my intentions and actions, and those I’m interacting with become robots as well. There’s a huge sense of emptiness without really being able to conceive the emotional reality of my surroundings.