I use copycat to be the theme of this work to respond to our fast-paced age of information in which our easy access to information warrants more caution. Quick typing of a few words in the search box could lead to our enjoying the fruits of others’ work. The keys ctrl+c and ctrl+v become a shortcut just at the tip of our fingers. But without proper citation and altering others’ works may raise more complex issues, such as copyright and intellectual property rights.
My main visual strategy is the collage and montage of found cats as varied versions of imitation. I have also used other object-icons for their associated social meanings – poppies, prison, printer, scissors, glue and so on to build my visual grammar of “copy and paste,” and the consequences of becoming a copycat. The collage and montage method I use is therefore also pointing to the action of cut-and-paste.
Editor’s notes: This montage sequence draws from various sources for the gathering of raw material for the artist’s construction the final individual collage episodes. The artist provides the following reference list as original image sources for her raw material:
I am Wang Shuxin, a student at the City University of Hong Kong who is passionate about art, design, media related work and academic studies. As a student who has one foot in the wonderland of art, I use art to express my views, believing that art connects with social life and often finds inspiration in society.
L: I consume your images with great pleasure. Such a big feast of found images, the fun of which is your clever, playful collage composition without losing sight of an image sequence that grows. Many questions came to my mind. Who is this work for? To warn copy-cats? To produce a new perspective? To suggest that in face of the found footage and collage tradition in history one must open up more positions? …
So long, My Pain is inspired by recent news reported in mainland China. A woman considered a “psychopath” has been found kidnapped, married to a man in a remote village and giving birth to eight kids (seven of them are boys). For 20 years she was dehumanized – chained up and treated like a dog, and living under terrible conditions. Without warm clothes even in extreme weather in northern China, she was left to sleep on the concrete floor. When being asked, the only recognizable sentence she could say was, “The world abandoned me.” (這個世界不要我了) Meanwhile, it was found that the man who bought her from a human trafficker had been enjoying the subsidy issued by the local government due to his poverty status of having 8 kids.
As an advocate of feminism in my daily life, I am extremely sensitive to the pain suffered by women. I can’t image how she went through such prolonged terror. I am painful and angry about such sufferings which have lasted thousands of years under patriarchy.
My collage-painting describes how women are gradually “eaten” by men. They can be any one of us, and the victim can be any woman, regardless of her social status and education background. At the last part of the video, half of the face is shown on the skeleton and claiming, “The world has abandoned me.” The face towards the end of the collage-montage sequence is from Pedro Roldan’s The Mater Dolorosa (1675, sorrowful mother Virgin Mary), with which I want to make the pain in my story more specific.
I am HE Yuqi from the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. I have great passion for art, film and design. I pay attention to the practice of feminism in my daily life, and a majority of my works are related to feminist thinking. To me, art is a medium to express my insights and speak up for women.