Human beings interact with one another to form culture and society, which is an essential difference between humans and animals. The most important principles in the interaction between people are sincerity and trust. One of the most terrifying problems of contemporary society is the loss of trust between people. But in order to survive, we still have to interact with others and seek out mutual dependence. This conflict of maintaining connection in light of distrust gives birth to the many masks that change constantly from person to person, from time to time, and from place to place. My mask series is based on this uniquely human phenomenon.
After hundreds of millions of years, human beings have evolved from marine organisms to homo sapiens. The fish in rivers, lakes, and seas are close relatives of mankind. In Chinese culture, the fish is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity. Artists of the past dynasties have sought auspicious fortunes by painting fish. But today, 171 million tons of fish are caught by humans every year. What is perhaps even more frightening is that 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the ocean every year and cause 15 million marine life deaths. The harmony between man and nature is one of the essences of Chinese traditional culture. And this value has been abandoned by the billions of people living on this earth. I do not seek fortune and prosperity by painting fish, but wonder whether humans can still live in harmony with nature before it is too late.
It has been 800 years since the Chinese tradition of painting the lotus flower began with Wang Mian in the Yuan Dynasty, and many have painted lotus flowers since then. While maintaining the appearance of a lotus flower on the outside, the inside often symbolizes cultural values. Rather than painting lotus flowers, I paint the lotus pond. The lotus pond is a symbol of Chinese culture and land. Can the current lotus ponds in China still cultivate beautiful flowers without reform?