Touching Voices

Touching Voices is a project that investigates rituals in relation to loss and bereavement to relieve grief. It is a ritual consisting of remembrance, recall and meditation rituals. Mourners set the trigger (lighting the candle), and touch visualized sound which is comprised of the dead's ashes, at last, cover the candle by lid to complete the ritual.


Confronting the trend of reduced burial space and religions in UK, cremation is considered as a leading way to cope with the remains. Following cremation, dealing with the ashes and alleviate the negative emotion are crucial. Nevertheless, the existing approaches to dealing with the ashes and relieve grief are not appropriate for modern life. Therefore, the touching voices ritual presents a way to address these problems. There are three benefits for this ritual. Firstly, the ritual prop is comprised of ashes, which are transferred to the product. Secondly, dissimilar from the conventional urn or ashes vessel, this ritual prop is capable of capturing and recording the dead from the personal voice. Lastly, this is the effect of ritual to reduce the saddening emotion following the funeral.


There are three different props for three steps in the ritual, which are the trigger(candle), the ceramic visualization ashes, and the end point. The main prop is the ceramic ashes sound, which consists of ashes and porcelain for stable and permanent shape with the purpose of recording the sound from the people passing away. The core action of this ritual is touching the visualize sound. As revealed by the latest study, the sound is capable of stimulating the emotion in brain. Moreover, a study from Immersion, haptics Intensifies Emotions, enhances Engagement, Memorability. Therefore, touching this prop could set up connection with the dead.  


Prior to the ritual, putting all the stuffs on the special place, which could be a mat. This is the special area dedicated to the ritual, and it will be a place that embodies the power.


Step 1:

Light the candle by the match, and take a deep breath, to calm yourself down.


Step 2:

Caress the prop(visible sound) from left to right, think about the words the person said. 


Step 3:

Cover the candle by the lid, and complete the ritual.

Designer - Chuxia Luo

Year - 2019

Material - Jasmonite, Human Bone Ash, Sheet Acrylic, Aluminum 

Exhibition: Royal College of Art degree show;

The 14th International Conference on the Social Context of Death, Dying & Disposal,2019(UK)

Funeral and Nostalgia,2019 (UK);​

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