Union Station is home to the memories of almost 100 years of arrivals and departures. Tearful goodbyes, welcoming embraces, and loving reunions are some of the stories an OCAD graduate hopes to capture in an interaction art installation she has opened in the station’s Great Hall.
Che (Shino) Yan hopes to gather people’s experiences in her Memory Capsule , an interactive platform to share commuters’ memories of the station.
“People are always coming and going and don’t have a chance to meet each other,” Yan says. “I want to connect people in this spot.”
Yan thinks the installation gives people the chance to reflect on travelling to and from the city. Memory Capsule is part of Yan’s thesis project for the Digital Futures program at OCAD. She says she had found through her research that shared experiences and memories help people connect.
To participate, people tweet a positive memory of Union Station with the hashtag #memorycapsule and a photo is taken of their silhouette. The words are combined with the photo on a 12-foot by 8-foot screen in the station’s Great Hall.
Councillor Pam McConnell says she is impressed by the work Yan has put into the project.
“The memory capsule will be a delightful attraction to the 200,000 people who pass through this building daily,” McConnell says.
Union Station was built in September 1914, almost 100 years ago. It is a national historic site and over the years has welcomed numbers of immigrants. McConnell says the installation is perfect for the station’s reputation.
Councillor Peter Milczyn says people will enjoy being able to share their recollections.
“People have cried here, lovers have reconnected, and families have arrived,” Milczyn says. “I think people are going to have fun with it.”
Memory Capsule is on display for eight weeks.