Debacle, 170x300cm, 2009

Recently I have been thinking about how both commerce and humankind fail in their attempt to coexist, despite the fact that humankind produces merchandise, the merchandise comes back like a boomerang to dominate humankind adversely. The dilemma posed by humanity vs. merchandise is a long philosophical inquiry with no solution. What we do know is that the world is what we make or we are what the world makes.

From October 2008 to January 2009, I returned to the multiple meanings and connotations imbued in terms such as “international famous brand names” which we fabricate for commercial promotion and marketing purposes. I collected all sorts of advertisements from real objects such as soft drink bottles, boxes and product packaging, medicine, as well as paper advertisements from newspapers, magazines, and invitations worldwide. Then I reproduced them in hand-written notes and posters, into 3,000 pieces of paper, each sized 85x110cm, then glued them onto a massive moveable wall made of corrugated asbestos tiles, sized 75x200cm, fixing hand-made ads layer by layer . Within seven days, we scratched off the layers of original commercials and mounted them onto a 12 meter high and 25 meter long setting of broken, worn-out, dilapidated-looking abandoned wall.

Together, this gigantic mosaic of broken strips from advertising materials makes an eye-catching semi-abstract painting. This process of production and destruction is like a game of building blocks. We enjoyed building up something new and then destroying it in order to create a brand-new style, and this production process will no doubt continue in the art world over and over again. I choose to name this work “Debacle” in reference to “Competition” (2004), and the similarities between the two works are obvious, with the fiercer competition going on continuously. “Debacle”, more pessimistic, depicts the utter failure of all commercials and corporate marketing schemes, and the contradictions inherent in “Competition” and “Debacle” within market economy forces.


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