BAI BAI – Bengi Agcal


3D-Animated Video Installation

‘Bai Bai” is an introspective 3D-animated multimedia video exhibition by Bengi Agcal that embodies the complexities of immigration, identity, and the pursuit of creative freedom. At the heart of the exhibition is the narrative of a mystical water tiger, a symbolic representation of Agcal’s own journey, depicted through a series of evocative videos and animations. These works explore the emotional and psychological stages of immigration, drawing upon Agcal’s experiences of moving from Turkey to Hong Kong and finally to Canada. The exhibition unfolds through the migration narrative of a water tiger capturing the shock of displacement, the anger and rejection of facing systemic barriers, and the eventual recovery and nostalgia for a lost home.


Each stage of the narrative is a testament to the emotional stages of immigration, represented through the tiger’s transformative journey from a utopian aquatic realm to the stark reality of a new world. The journey commences in a realm of dreams, where the tiger thrives in amidst endless waters, symbolizing purity, potential, and the comfort of home. Inspired by the traditional Turkish “hamam,” this stage evokes a sense of communal intimacy and cultural richness, reminiscent of Turkey’s thriving days, echoing the warmth and solidarity experienced in neighborhood baths. The tiger’s home is a world where water is not just an element but a way of life, inviting a reflection on the essence of belonging and the shared human experience of finding solace in one’s roots.

As the narrative unfolds, the tiger is abruptly uprooted, finding itself in an alien landscape inspired by Kelowna, which is characterized by industrial coldness and the daunting expanse of parking lots. This stage confronts the harsh realities of migration—bureaucratic hurdles, societal indifference, and the existential struggle of starting anew in a place that deems you an outsider. The stark contrast from the first stage to this phase of rejection and anger poignantly captures the emotional turmoil and resilience required to navigate the complexities of a new beginning.


In the final stage of the Tiger’s odyssey, is the gradual adaptation to its new environment, marked by moments of gratitude, resilience, and occasional nostalgia. As the tiger builds a life of comfort and stability, echoes of longing for the past linger—a testament to the enduring ties to home and the bittersweet nature of transformation. Through introspective reflections and vivid imaginings, the tiger navigates the delicate balance between embracing the present and yearning for the familiar, encapsulating the essence of the migrant experience in the digital age.


Bengi Agcal is a multimedia artist and researcher. She earned her BEng in Computer Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She is currently pursuing her MFA alongside the NSERC CREATE Immersive Technologies program at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests and art practice include speculative fiction, participatory design, 3D rendering, digital sculpting, XR technologies, web computing, immersive technologies, and sustainability.

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