Impostor by Fiona Fei at The Sim Quarterly

Second Life at its best

I personally never had heard of Fiona Fei before, but that may be my own ignorance or too strict focus on other places /persons I know better. It does not matter really. What matters is how happy I am with seeing what she creates in Second Life. Her SHUI MO GALLERY definitely has the WOW factor and her installation ’IMPOSTOR’ as well. Because I would find it too much text and too little credits to write about all in one blog, I decided to blog on Impostor only for now.


Definition of the word impostor

One that assumes false identity or title for the purpose of deception

Synonyms for impostor

    • charlatan,
    • fake,
    • faker,
    • fakir,
    • fraud,
    • hoaxer,
    • humbug,
    • mountebank,
    • phony
    • phoney
    • pretender,
    • quack,
    • quacksalver,
    • ringer,
    • sham


Why did Fiona choose this as title for her installation at The Sim Quarterly (managed by Electric Monday).
She explains it very clear in the notecard you can read when entering the sim. I quote:


Impostor is sort of a self portrait and a critique of myself as an artist. The exhibit showcases an ink-brush painting of mountains layered over each other to form landscape often seen in many traditional Chinese landscape paintings. However, there are big “red-flag” (pun intended) elements in the scene that interrupt the perfect serenity of the painting.

The inspiration behind this exhibit comes from my cultural background as a Chinese American immigrant and my technical background as an oil painter. While I am Chinese by descent, I have spent the majority of my life in the West. I have a fascination with Chinese history and culture, but I often feel like I’m viewing my ancestry through a filter of Americanized information and experiences. Furthermore, my artistic background has been in charcoal and oil painting mediums, and I’ve had very little experience in actual ink-brush painting. For these reasons, “Impostor” is meant to be a self critique and reflection of my inexperience with the actual ink-brush medium, where I feel like I’m never “good enough,” but I’m embracing it.

Other elements in the scene:
Red Hands:
My hands reach out from the white abyss of the painting to forcefully touch the scene.

Red Flowers:
The red flowers signify my imagination beyond Chinese ink, and my love of whimsy.

Giant Ink splatters:
Ink splashes across the surface of the landscape as my inexperience becomes ever more present. All the mistakes with the “brush” has manifested itself in explosions of ink.

Red Chinese Characters:
The Chinese Characters 你是谁 (Ni Shi Shei?) asks “Who are you?”



My visit and experience

In short: magic. In general I am a bit allergic to use the word magic to describe an experience, but it simply was like that. The place just draws you into a whole new world. A mix of old and new, of past and present. The minimalistic use of space, symbols and colors is perfect, a few more or less hidden surprises like the house on top of one of the mountains and the subtle and funny elements and animations make it for me a place where you just want to sit down and stay. Best to do solitary I think, to feel the impact of this poetic place and get immersed in it as it deserves. The music stream fits perfectly with it as well, ambient music, serene and slow.


After reading the information I tried to express my mood in pictures at first but failed. Next thing I did was randomly film, without any specific idea in mind. Sitting down at my desk editing these footages suddenly made me feel like a fish, gently whirling around in history. A history written in ink. Ink as water, ink as blood, ink as fluid of a neural system. I entered an immersion within an immersion, like a dream within a dream by creating a short film impression. Impostor being the outer shell, the footage being a chaotic recording inside the shell,  the ‘fish’ in the movie undergoing a process of transformation caused by interacting with visuals, sounds and words. A reflective after effect one could say. One that really got me into a a different dimension of feeling and dreaming away. One that made me write a short text, based on the information in the notecard, and added to the machinima in spoken word.  Since I am not a native english speaker and not a sound expert either, it therefore probably is wise to read the text before listening to it. It also is added as text below the machinima on YouTube.


I’m a fish

Floating in ancient waters



Feeling like an impostor

Breathing in this far away heartbeat of my roots

I want to be part of it

Leaving trails of ink

To know who I am

Ink is my blood

Transfusing back into a new version of me

Connected with all essences of my existence

Like a fish in fertile waters

Embracing impostors to breed and seed

To live

To create

To be me



Extra information

On Fiona:

Fiona’s Website:

Fiona’s Flickr:

Fiona’s Facebook:

Fiona’s Instagram


On The Sim Quarterly


Website: The Sim Quarterly

I quote a part of the text of the notecard at the entrance:

What are we doing here? Sharing creative art works by SL creators and dreamers with the community! Every quarter (every 3 months) the sim will change the artist in residence. This quarter is “Impostor” by Fiona Fei! Find out more details at

This Sim Quarterly is open to the public and group members can “set home to here” and “rez rights” with a 30-minute autoreturn. Please respect the work and other visitors, and rez only items you may need for taking photographs.

We invite you in to explore and experience art in a way that you can only do in a 3-D virtual world. Invite your friends, experience a journey, and take a ton of pictures! Be sure to share them to The Sim Quarterly’s Flickr group

NOTE: The sim will be Moderate rated, so you are asked to spare others from full on public displays of affection. ;)

The art here is to be enjoyed for what ever your pleasure, but remember, that there are other visitors and they deserve your respect as you would want to be respected.

Electric Monday




The Sim Quarterly / Impostor Fiona Fei

You can support the sim and Fiona with a tip and a beautiful guestbook invites you to leave a message after visiting Imposter.
At the entrance SIT on the ink from the ink pot to TP down to the actual installation.
You also can join groups, both of Fiona Fei and Electric Monday.


Leave a Reply