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Eugenia Kim Creates Virtual Reality Dances To Express Her Bipolar Disorder

Eugenia Kim is a PhD student, originally from the USA, who’s been living in Hong Kong and studying at City University since 2015. She creates dance narratives for virtual reality environments inspired by her own experiences of having adolescent bipolar disorder. Her hope is that it helps viewers understand on a physical level what it’s like having bipolar disorder and encourages families to support young people in getting treatment. She has been making dances about having bipolar disorder since 2005 as a coping tool and for her own enjoyment. She’s also been delving into dance cinema with a focus on using movement to express mental health-related narratives.

Her research and dances are aimed at helping others like her who prefer the digital realm, or have a hard time going outside, or expressing themselves through words, and for the families and friends of bipolar patients, like her parents, who might be worried about being publicly seen attending any activity or event related to mental health.

Eugenia will be writing a column, Virtually Eugenia, about her research and experiences with adolescent bipolar disorder for Mental Ideas. She’ll also be a guest (in person, not just virtually) on the Mental Ideas Podcast.

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Eugenia’s Dance Portfolio

Eugenia’s VR dance, Lithium Hindsight, is a work-in-progress, though she is happy for us to share this preview/trailer. She is really keen to reach out to others interested in her work and will be attending the next Bipolar Hong Kong group meeting to connect with others who have the condition. Her academic research for her PhD explores:

How can phenomenology can be applied to create dance pathographies for virtual reality environments about adolescent bipolar disorder?