By Frisia 李昕怿

Found objects, audio, creative writing

Concept and Voiceover: Frisia 李昕怿

Voiceover: Vie Jones

Photography: Tyler Simmonds

Audio Recording: Deryl Amenya

Sound Design: Aaron Collier

"I’ve always wondered if anyone else feels the same - that we are surrounded by endless series of complains but no one ever seem to offer an alternative to any of them. So here it is, an invitation to an open discussion."

Welcome earthlings, to the Great Currency Exhibition. This travelling exhibition exists in between space and time across the multiverse. Wherever or whenever you are, we welcome you. 

The Great Currency Exhibition, or the GCE, was founded by earth 2492, 1392, 637, 514 and 1901. This exhibition is a showcase of all the forms of currencies used across the earths as their replacement for the conventional money. 

You have entered the Earth 3209 Exhibition. The currency is Emotional Value, calculated per Emotional Unit or EU. 

Emotional Value became the currency on earth 3209 in July 2048, when a mysterious AI hacked all financial institutions and their vaults overnight. Announcing on world’s medias that Emotional Value to be the new currency. All IT workers and hackers were brought in to tackle this presumed prank to no avail. By the end of the month, the economy had collapsed and countries had to begin their attempts of understanding this new currency. 

On August 3rd, the AI announced on world’s medias of the locations of evaluating centres and a vague equation of how Emotional Value is calculated. People flooded into these centres and experienced a wide range of emotions as the results came out. They were shocked to find that the AI was able to retrieve the whole story behind each item from the material collection phase. The attempt to decode the AI lasted until the end of 2048. The identity of its creator remains the greatest mystery on Earth 3209.

Exhibit 45023

  • Year manufactured: 1983
  • Emotional value: 12,420,100 units

Exhibit 45023 was given to its first owner as a baby by her mother. It took nine full months to be made. It was a very difficult pregnancy for the mother. She sought refuge in the making process and devoted 90% of her waking hours to making 45023. The first owner never parted with 45023 until the age of 8, when her mother was killed in a car accident.

There were countless attempts made throughout her life to preserve the original condition of 45023 until her death; when it was given to her only granddaughter named after her mother.  

The second owner, the granddaughter of the first owner, started a children’s charity later in life with 45023 as the logo. 45023 was donated to the organization after her death. 

45023 was later lent to the GCE on a five year term.

Exhibit 20192

  • Year manufactured: 1714
  • Emotional value: 11207 units

Exhibit 20192 was ordered by a German Prince for his new wife. The jeweller used a week to craft this emerald tiara. It was presented to the new Princess alongside other pieces upon their wedding. The Princess had a diamond tiara of similar design. 20192 remained in the family treasury until 1762, when it was gifted to her granddaughter upon her marriage. 

The second owner, received 20192 upon her marriage into the royal family of a neighbouring Principality. She favoured diamonds like her grandmother. 20192 was gifted to her eldest daughter upon marriage in 1781. 

The third owner, married into a powerful local aristocratic family. She died giving birth to her second child, a stillborn daughter. Leaving her possessions to her only living son.

The fourth owner was born in 1783. He was married in 1798 and 20192 was given to his wife as a wedding present. Their only youngest child and the only son, inherited the family fortune in 1870.

The sixth owner sided with the Wilhelm II during WWI. The family lost their title and large amount of family fortune after the war. 20192 remained in the family vault ever since. 

20192 was lent to the Great Currency Exhibition by the family upon the opening of the Exhibition. The family wishes to find an owner with the ability to appreciate the extraordinary craftsmanship of 20192. Please leave your contact information if you might be interested in becoming the next owner of 20192.

Exhibit 31020

  • Year manufactured: 1991
  • Emotional value: 901194 units

Exhibit 31020 was bought by its first owner from a local artisan and he personally painted it as a present for his best friend’s birthday. He never attended his best friend’s birthday party as his family moved away in haste due to an unknown reason. The two never saw each other again but wrote to each other once a week for 13 years and 9 months, until the best friend died due to brain cancer. The first owner was able to visit his friend’s grave after another 5 years. He took 31020 for the visit and brought back his belated birthday present from his late best friend. 31020 and his birthday present were placed together in a glass cabinet in his study until his death. 

Both of his children were famous writers. After his death, they inherited, edited and published his autobiography; in which a full chapter was dedicated to this friendship. The book was best seller for 6 weeks. 

31020 was donated to the Great Exhibition upon the 25th anniversary of the book’s release.

Exhibit 1293

  • Year manufactured: 2004
  • Emotional value: 120032 units

Exhibit 1293 was one of the first smart laptops ever to hit the market. The first owner bought it for her family in 2004. It was met with great enthusiasm and eventually, they made weekly schedules for it. She bought a second laptop in 2010, and a third in 2013. 1293 was taken to a recycling centre where it remained until the GCE committee acquired the recycling centre the year before the opening. Several hundreds of other valuable exhibits were also found at the centre.

Exhibit 293130

  • Year manufactured: 1983
  • Emotional value: 383103 units

Exhibit 293130 was taken in 1982 by its first owner during her travels in Peru. It was printed in 1983 and was the profile photo of her travel album. The owner travelled to every country on earth within the next 20 years. She returned to Peru, planning to revisit every location from her first trip. She suffered severe altitude sickness in the Andes. She was rushed to the hospital and transferred to the lowlands before she was given a life ban on travelling in high altitude places. She visited photo recovery service once a year to preserve the conditions of those photographs. 

She wrote in her will to have a portion of her ashes sprinkled in the Peruvian Andes and have a new photo taken at where 293130 was taken to be brought to her grave. Her family fulfilled her wishes after her death and put on a small exhibition of all her photos at her funeral.  The travel album remains at the family home til this day. 

293130 was lent to the GCE by her family alongside several other photographs.

Exhibit 84210

  • Year manufactured: 1883
  • Emotional value: 812003294 units  

Exhibit 84210 is a set of platinum pearl tiara and necklace. Ordered by an American gold mine owner for his daughter’s 16th  birthday. The pearls were collected from China and brought to the US in 1882. 25 people died due to infections caused during the harvesting process and 7 drowned while harvesting it. They were sent to the oldest jewelry house in New York City to be crafted upon arrival and was completed in 6 months. 

The first owner, the mine owner’s daughter wore exhibit 84210 to 3029 balls throughout her life time. It was known as one of her signature piece in society. Exhibit 84210 was given to her eldest great granddaughter as her 16th birthday present. 

When the second owner turned 25, a mining accident happened at the family mine, killing 23 mine workers. 84210 was sold to a jewelry collector alongside of several other jewelry pieces. 

The third owner, a jewelry collector did not own any pearl platinum jewelry prior to making this purchase. It was the centre piece in her private museum for 5 years. 84210 was given to her daughter-in-law in 1970. 

The fourth owner, wore 84210 to 69% of social gatherings. She was the owner of the third largest pearl collection in the world. In her late 60s, she took over the third owner’s private museum and opened the first pearl jewelry exhibition. It toured to 49 countries and 183 museums around the world where it remains until this day. 

84210 was lent to the GCE on a one year term.

Exhibit 90301

  • Year manufactured: 1929
  • Emotional value: 20182900

Exhibit 90301 was owned by a China shop owner until it shut down in 1930. All contents of the shop were sold to pay his debt except 90301. It was given to his wife, a famous local baker known for her cakes. They served her cakes at every family gathering throughout the 1930s and the 1940s. During WWII, all metal tools were donated to the army. His wife used 90301 as the mixing tool as well as the serving tool. In 1945, they opened a bakery a block away from the old China shop. She continued to use 90301 as the mixing tool for all the cake batters. 

The bakery was open until 1990 when the couple decided to retire. It was sold to a real estate developer because their children had careers in finance and medicine. They once again started using 90301 as the serving tool for the cakes served at the family gatherings. 

In 1999, the second owner died of natural causes, leaving 90301 to her youngest great-grandson. He had spent all his time in the kitchen watching his great-grandmother bake after school. 

When the third owner turned 18, he enrolled in the Pastry & Confectionery program at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Taking 90301 with him and hung it on the kitchen wall of his apartment. After graduation, he was hired as the pastry chef at a small restaurant. After 3 years, he was hired as a pastry sous chef at a Michelin star restaurant, and promoted to executive pastry after 5 years. 

In 2039, he returned home and purchased his great-grandparents’ old bakery. Making the front page on the local newspapers. He had 90301 on display at the centre of the bakery until this day. 

Exhibit 90301 was lent to the GCE on a 2-month term.


Frisia 李昕怿 (she/her) is a photographer and an emerging young theatre artist living and working in Halifax/Kjipuktuk. Born and raised in Chongqing, China, she is a creator, director, lighting designer and performer. Her most recent works include Newcomers (Assistant Director, Halifax Theatre for Young People), The Villains’ Christmas Carol (Ensemble, The Villains Theatre), High School Musical (Lighting Design and Tech, Halifax Regional Arts), Primal (Collaborator/Ensemble, The Unnatural Disaster Theatre Company), Rocky Horror Show (Chrysalis Lighting Designer, Neptune Theatre) and Dear World (Creator/Performer, Mount Allison University). She recently finished her BA at Mount Allison University and continues to dedicate her work to global connections and telling the stories of those lost their voice.

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