Caged Creatures

One of my main goals for the summer is to constantly look at art, I hope to share a lot of that with you here.  This installation is in a main part of the 798 district in Beijing.  My very first full day in Beijing I came across these sculptures. The four figures could speak to many different social issues–evolution and race are at the forefront of my mind.  One website I found said that they are a statement about communism–that was not my first thought but they are in red cages.  As you walk along they diminish in size, their skin tones change to darker shades, and they become less like the notion of the human figure.  I tried to do some research on the sculptures but the only thing I learned was that they have been in 798 for roughly three years.  If anyone knows the artist, title, or date please let me know.

I would love to hear your thoughts, here are some of mine:

I have some random associations with each one.  One nugget I have been carrying around with me for the past few years is subject position.  Living in South Korea made me acutely aware that I did not understand everyone else’s background and perspective.  I am now trying to learn how to make informed judgements without specializing in every culture.  And really, the only way to “specialize” in a culture is to be that culture.  My point in mentioning this is considering my subject position versus a Chinese person’s when disecting these sculptures.  The figure above made me feel guilty for being white.

This one perpetuates my guilty feelings about the first caged figure.

Above, Avatar anyone?

You can climb onto this one.  Hey, Mom and Dad–Christmas Card!

On another note, I love that I could not find any information about this installation.  Not knowing the title and artist is so liberating when you want to truly experience a work of art.  Whenever I view a piece I try my best to ignore the facts on the title card until I have made the work become part of my experience.  This idea is a bit controversial.  Some artists only want the viewer to see the work as they intended, I want people to take my marks and make them part of their biography.

One thought on “Caged Creatures

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