MEDIA: digitally manipulated photography, archival inkjet print
YEAR: 2009


A Type of Carnival is a digitally manipulated photograph. In the piece, I dressed up as contemporary people with a variety of ages and social status, and compose them all together in one image to create a machine of power. All of them have the same grotesque heads - a deformed Chinese dragon head mutated by Western aesthetic characteristics. As an individual from contemporary China, I would like to utilize the method of psychoanalysis as an interesting approach of seeking future significance and purpose with a neutral attitude.
Fast-paced modern life forces us to switch our self-identities dramatically with or without consciousness. Each person is bursting to show infinite possibility and energy, and create a different value of being. This is a carnival. However in additional to a carnival, I consider this a conflict, creating tangle and ridicule. This can be interpreted as the characteristics of people in the context of contemporary Chinese society, who obviously have power, endurance and potentiality, but simultaneously are affected by excessive materialism, which is constantly coloring our value judgment. This is an approach with various possibilities; a minor decision triggers entirely different results. Existing as the subject of making the decisions, we very often place ourselves in occasionalities. These occasionalities attract us, and they may lead us to another peak or abyss.
As a form of power and energy, violence is embodied in the piece. The process of creating this piece reminds me of the article The Task of Translators by Walter Benjamin. Violence is inflicted during the process of translation from one language to another. Here in the piece I use an alternative form of translating. The misinterpretation of traditional Chinese elements is a sort of violence. The forced pastiche of Eastern and Western elements is a sort of violence. At the same time, I exert violence toward the viewers.