I have an interest in contemporary society. “Confined” is the most accurate word to describe our contemporary society; life’s obstacles restrict us every day. A job confines the modern man; salary determines his freedom or his confinement. Competition within the workforce generates more stress, a confinement in itself. The pressures of parenthood and the ability or inability to provide a future for a child weighs on the shoulders of a father. Cultural limitations within one’s native country demand conformity, and an older generation may force tradition on the younger. Money, career, competition, parenthood, and culture are what confine us within our modern society.
Both literally and conceptually, my work conveys the idea of confinement.
My Confined Freedom series exploits the feeling of confinement itself, while the Self-Portraits of Modern Men series focuses on describing modern issues or contemporary people’s daily lives. Confined Freedom uses structural frames to physically confine the works inside. The objects conform to the space they are confined within. With Self-Portraits of Modern Men, I used exaggerated and abstracted characters to strengthen the idea of anonymous masses. The characters are unidentifiable replicas of each other, all taking the same action. Both series vary in materials, but are mainly bronze, ceramic, and hot-rolled steel. I have been using the process of vacuum-assisted casting because the method itself represents contemporary systems. I want to emphasize mass production to express these depersonalized office workers or de-individualized contemporary people.
As a contemporary artist, my life has inspired my work and I experience this feeling of confinement. Using artistic voice to create a dialogue with an audience is necessary. These series not only relate to my own life, but relate to the lives of my audience; I hope to expose their own confined lives with my work.
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