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Through the Lens of a Child

Lavounie Doan


3-Channel Digital Illustration & Video Installation

Bubblegum Machine
Octopus Traffic Conductor

Through the Lens of a Child is a 3-channel digital illustration and video installation capturing the cherished moments of imagination and creativity in young children. Revolving around the question of why a person should have a childlike imagination, this installation encourages creativity in adulthood by comparing and integrating the two different perspectives, of a child and an adult, perceiving the world.


Imagination and creativity can be found in every unexpected tiny corner of life. Through the Lens of a Child was originally made with 6 separate photographs, capturing ordinary, everyday objects that have no other meanings besides their own functions through the adults’ lenses. These photographs were then digitally painted on top with pieces of children’s imagination that transformed them into extraordinary subjects, only existing in the bizarre perspective of the world.

One sunny day last month, I received a text message with several pictures of my childhood toy creations from my mother, who lives thousands of miles away from me. A cake made out of newspapers and colourful straws, a doll made from popsicle sticks and candy wrappers; Looking at the pictures, I realized I had forgotten how dynamic childlike imagination could turn the world into.

We, as adults, are surrounded by all the invisible boundaries of responsibilities, rules and compliances that limit us from being imaginative. The use of the hectic urban theme in the installation represents the limitations that are holding us back; while breaking its forms and structures, in contrast, are breaking those boundaries. “It is our imagination that allows us to explore additional possibilities” [1]. Nothing is impossible in Through the Lens of a Child; there are no defined rules, boundaries or limitations in this surreal urban life where imagination blooms. 


[1] Latham, Gloria, and Robyn Ewing. “Children’s Images of Imagination : The Language of Drawings.” The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, vol. 41, no. 2, Australian Literacy Educators’ Association, 2018, pp. 71–81.

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