Chi Chi, What Are These?
Acrylic on Canvas, Chalk
"Chi Chi, what are these?" my mom held two sausages in front of me.
"Drumsticks!” I said.
“Chopsticks!” I added.
The work includes three identical groups of two paintings: one square canvas with a black shape and a chalkboard made out of a canvas. From left to right: The first chalkboard lists nouns. This group intends to provoke the imagination of the viewer and trace the origin of Abstraction (the narrative aspect); the second chalkboard lists the methodology and the formal features of the painting. This group intends to encourage the observation of the viewer and to reflect the idea of Formalism (to examine the craftsmanship); the last chalkboard lists adjectives. This group evokes the emotional response of the viewer and reflects the idea of Abstract Expressionism.
This work is interactive. The texts on the chalkboards are the viewer’s springboards. One can add any information or erase existing text to participate in the piece, which is like leaving comments on Amazon, YouTube or Facebook. The viewer can evaluate and rate the work to influence a successor’s judgment. Although the viewer can form his own interpretation, the artist has the control over it. The artist leads the viewer to different directions through hints, which is like a product description of features and details as well as a close-ended survey. The performance aspect of the piece protests against our education system, which uses standardized tests, sole answers and similar environments to program single-minded machines.
“Hey, mom. Could you do my homework? I don’t want to be programed today.”