Shuyan Wu

Circles of Life

Personal exploration · personal identity · daily journal


"If you were a symbol, what would you look like?" "...I'm not sure, but definitely something round."

Circle journal Circle journal

A speed-dating question for a Professional Identities class sparked an exploration of round motifs. One day, as ideas were starting to run dry, the hand started to simply draw circles repeatedly. The repetitive drawing motion unexpectedly facilitated a heightened awareness of fluctuations in one's physiological, mental, and emotional states.

This discovery spurred a semester-long journal where one circle was drawn each day to document a visual manifestation of the self.

Circle journal

The forms of the circles fluctuated day by day, but one thing stayed constant – towards the end of each recording, the circular laps would reveal an underlying track for that particular day.

Circle journal

Two types of data were recorded with each circle:

  • Objective data – time of day, duration, and direction in which the circle was drawn
  • Subjective data – any feelings and thoughts that arose during the drawing process

These data provide a glimpse into the invisible environmental and personal factors that form the pulse of daily life.

Audios were also recorded on select days to preserve the underlying rhythms. Here is what the March 1, 2018 circle sounded like.