|I am Snow White / 1999-2010|
I don't exist
"Being oneself" makes one panicky and anxious. The character that changes in this work expresses symptoms of illness. Analyzing them and the self-recognition of a mentally ill patient would be exhibited! How can one utter sophistry to justify one’s mental illnesses and confuse others? "I'm Snow White and that's why…" The evolution of simple logic may seem ridiculous, but underneath that escapism is fully taking effect. Because I'm Snow White, I’m a happy princess. I can stop playing my role anytime. I can relax and I can fail. I'm Snow White and I play all the "me's" that could exist in reality and I can play the ideal me! Like the Baudrillardian simulation: The image has replaced the reality that it refers to, so people canare no longer distinguish reality from the simulated reality, where sings can replace reality. I often ask myself, is it possible that I don't exist?
The festiveness of carnivals enables people to enter utopia temporarily; clowns and jesters, through different playful and crazy body movement and forms, try to break off the restraint of reality. Mikhail Bakhtin [1895-1975] called the carnivalesque world "the world upside-down." Festivities don't need a stage and there is little difference between players and the audience. Everyone actively participates and plays in the carnivalesque play. Carnival basically is a cultural means to overcome fear. My stage is set up by my art and my life. My theatrical images come from realistic photography with digital compositing to create a simulated reality. Little did I know that when it was presented honestly, the so-called reality was just a process – the happening and the thoughts of all the events was as ridiculous as if seeing me and my images showing on screen at the same time. Throughout the process of creation, I play and complete the roles on the carnival stage made by myself.
My anxiety on socialization
Many people live in contradiction: yearning for freedom while being afraid of it. Some of them are even willing to be controlled by the institutions to gain sense of safety. The development of civilization, to certain degree, has been repressed in order to move farther. Erving Goffman (1922-1982) in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life also states: our everyday life is the presentation of ourselves. However, as civilization develops, the means and speed of communication also change, a potential crisis appears: the instant image that determines all! The conflicts among social identity, the personal identity, and the ego identity,appear at the end. The questions remain the same—who am I? What should I do? These are the social issues. One is still lost and seldom satisfied.
To me, reality, simulation, or illusion, none of them is the real. In the world of chaotic order, I attempt to realistically represent my thinking about the present moment.
I Am Snow White
In this series Snow White shows up in real life. Her untimely presence makes her an outsider observing modern society. Every piece of the set is a piece of theatrical scenery and every scene is a story. Every character has her story and more stories come from the entangling relationships among these characters.
I have situated myself outside social constraints because every profession is a kind of role-playing in real life. To me, one can be more flexible about his feeling when he temporarily suspends his role-playing. When he situates himself outside social constraints, he may realize that he has been watching others playing their roles!
Social norms have developed with time and encompass many social aspects, including ethics, morals, laws, and traditions. Also because of the transition of modern society, competition and speed have changed or influenced our self-awareness, self-discipline, and our responsibility. One’s personal life shouldn’t influence his work, or one’s work shouldn’t influence his family life—this kind of requirement has become one’s professional performance and responsibility for oneself and for society. Professional performance at work, at home, in relationships… etc., “professional” has become a must-have attitude for modern men. This “professional” attitude has dominated human emotions and feelings. Modern men, when dealing with their emotions and feelings, their capacities for self-healing and self-expression have degenerated out of the repression and development of modern society, and they are enjoining the new generation of “otaku culture.” Therefore, modern men have to compromise their inner conflicts with a society like this, and figure out better ways to communicate with themselves and with other people.
You Can Love Me Only! Part1
90×225cm (35 2/5×88 3/5in)/Digital Lambda print or Archival Giclée print/2005/Limited Edition of 8 +2 A/Ps
You Can Love Me Only! Part2
Watch out! I’ll let dog out
I Have Lots of Enemies
Santa Claus's Gift
This New Year eve we signed the peace treaty
You Are My Hero!
I was interested in construction sites during the six months of my residency in Paris. In Taiwan scaffoldings are used to support new buildings while in Paris they are used in restoration of old buildings. The process of restoration is thorough and slow like the way French women treat themselves—lingering over beauty salons on the street and putting on various cosmetics and perfumes—they enjoy being their heroes! It is worth ruminating over innovation and restoration, the new and the old. If we have the same kind of patience to face our old self, treat it with new wisdom and cherish its traces of the past. Life is just a whim. You are your own superhero!
Project Paris: You Are My Hero/Tu es mon héros!
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