The Ambiguity Of Entering And Exiting.
Acrylic on Canvas. Size: 120cm x 150cm
At the centre of the painting is a large crawling babylike figure with a birthday cake on its head and the face of an old man. There is poo flying around which may be exiting from or entering into the butt of the figure. This imagery depicts a state of confusion about where we come from, where we go from here and who we are in this new world. It also explores questions about the quality of what we contribute to humanity as well as what we consume. These are issues that have been heavily discussed over the pandemic as lockdowns have caused people to ask deep questions about themselves and the wider society.
At the feet of the figure are mice eating toenail clippings. In Korea, there is a folktale about the son of a nobleman who cuts his toenails and carelessly throws them into the garden. A rat comes along and eats them and turns into an exact look-alike of the son. When this happens, he claims to be the son of the family and has the real son thrown out. This story delves into the issues of identity and what it is that makes us human which is an interesting topic to explore as technology expands and AI is developed to emulate human behaviour.
There is also a mixture of painting styles in this work from a two-dimensional digital approach to more painterly and textured techniques. This combination alludes to the new way of life that we have been experiencing during the pandemic: we work and exist within a physical world and yet much of our real lives occurs in the realm of the internet which is now rapidly integrating itself with the physical. Humanity must think about how they will place themselves and treat one another in this new world if we are to flourish in the future.