09. 04. 2020. Punctum

Li Hsuan. 李璇


  1. n. pl. (anatomy) A sharp tip of any part of the anatomy; a point or other smaller area.
  2. a concept from Roland Barthes’ book Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography:
  • to wound;
  • denoting the wounding, personally touching detail which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it. 

“Punctum has a power of expansion. Here, the photograph really transcends itself, is this not the sole proof of its art?” (Barthes R., Camera Lucida, p.50)

Picture A    All about my grandpa: Punctum from Wuhan.
Object/component: herbs—honeysuckle, rose, hawthorn; incense.




The herbs are: honeysuckle, rose, hawthorn. I used a sewing needle to make a string for these materials and pierce into the first map, to symbolise the Punctum from my childhood memory and from my hometown Wuhan.

Honeysuckle is often used as medicine and tea, to cure bacterial infections, to counteract poisoning and to kill germs. 

Rose is used mainly for making tea and claimed to offer numerous health benefits such as boosting the metabolism, helping relieve pain during periods and helping in the treatment of anxiety and diabetes. 

Hawthorn is used as medicine. It’s good for balancing heart rhythm disorder and used for digestive disorders by breaking down fats.

About the culture and mysterious effect of herbs I learnt from my grandfather. He was a herbal researcher, a kung-fu practicer and a healer. He helped hundreds of people using herbal therapy, QiGong exercise, and also by his impressive speech about Chinese classical philosophy. He worked as a headmaster of a local school, and he went to mountains every year to meditate on spiritualism. I have tried herbal therapy some years ago in order to build up my body strength and it was like drinking special soup everyday. I didn’t adhere to it, simply because the flavor is too bitter for me.

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