The Balloon Project by Yan Kong Favorite 


Oct 10 2019


Brooklyn NY

The Balloon Project, is a three-year-in-the-making Art Installation by Yan Kong in support of world refugees and migrants. It pays tribute to human spirit, courage and survival. The Balloon Project is a multimedia work incorporating mechanical engineering and visuals to fuse art and politics. 32 balloons inflate and deflate to simulate refugee and migrants' breathing while fleeing their countries to seek safety and freedom in the world.
Five films via courtesy of Women Make Movies, and Yan Kong’s video Immigrants of the 21st Century in America will stream over the ‘breathing’ balloon. The exhibition setting is a large three dimensional theatrical screen of white balloons, white wall, white clothes on the base, and white tubing (for the balloon support). The exhibition is enliven with sound and imagery of films side by side with the breathing sound of the balloons. The visual effects become powerful by the images, movement and colors from the projected films on the balloons. @yan.kong9

AWA Gallery, 136 15th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Date: October 10 - November 10, 2019.
Gallery Hours: Thur - Sun. 12 - 6PM.

Posted by aawaa on

Staff rating: 

It's unclear how this project actually does anything outside of the gallery. It may do something, but there's no evidence to be seen.... "How it works" has been adjusted. The original author's evaluation seems to involve some element of self-promotion. For example, instead of evaluating the short-term and long-term strategy, they wrote: "An urgent message to the world politicians that every country in the free world must come together to solve the refugee and migrant crisis. That if we do not help and solve the problem now these displaced people would be our enemies for our future generations."


How does this project help?


The breathing sounds of the Balloons simulate the breathing of refugee and migrants while fleeing their countries to see safety and freedom. People who came to see the Installation were deeply moved while some people were terrorized by the slow and calm breathing of the balloons. A video by Yan Kong - Immigrants of the 21st Century in America and five films courtesy of are chosen carefully to reflect a time when different perspectives of the migrant and refugee issues are needed apart from the media images and stories about the crisis. The artist pleads to world politicians to address issues, of governments that do not protect their citizens, people and their loved ones who are murdered, homes destroyed and people not safe, religious and political persecutions, economic and climate disasters - reasons forcing people to flee from their home. The urgent message being that these mounting crises must be resolved now, to help us and the refugees/migrants because if we cannot be friends now with these people we will encounter them as enemies in the future.