O.M.G. – it is more than just an expression
It is a revulsion
It is an endorsement
It is a compulsion
It is an idolisation
The list goes on. It is such a commonly used phrase in the English language that it possesses an extensive breath of meaning and emotions. The closest version in Chinese is “我的天啊!”, which literally means “Oh my Heaven!” But then the phrase carries a more limited spectrum of innuendos and emotions.
In China, the discussion of Gods, spirits and idols rarely surfaced and certainly not endorsed in the official media. For example, as compared to the British or the American national anthem, we do not hear words of “God’ in the China’s national anthem. There is no state-sanction religious education. Any form of ‘idolisation’ of the supernatural is frown upon. Ironically the only form of such state-endorsed homage is a pledge of loyalty and passion for the state.
This summer, LWH Gallery is dipping its toes on the subject of ‘God and Idols’. We are presenting works by Chinese artists that shares a common thread of personal explorations on the concept of ‘God’. The following are three of them.
The Digital Idol by Chen Ke
Art has always been the medium from which man conveys his innermost thoughts and emotions, from primitive cave paintings of hunting scenes to the finest renaissance works depicting celestial splendour.
Art has also been the platform for which was celebrate the achievement of man and the blessings of God. Over last century, Art has evolved from the two dimensional sphere to the multi-dimensional digital realm. And before the arrival of smart phones or even the computer, the television is the probably the most iconic symbol of the early digital age.
From being a medium of communication, the digital world has now evolved to become a medium of consumption. From expression of our inner most thoughts to the fulfilment of desires. Through the digital platform, we can now easily fulfil our most basic wishes to fuelling the innermost desire.
Today, the digital realm has evolved to allow one overcome our physical and intellectual limitations. It has become our answers to many of our prayers and wishes. Has it become our new “Idol”? And if not now, who is to deny the possibility that the digital realm will evolved with an self aware artificial intelligence that surpass the capabilities of man and will one day be come our new “God”.
Worship Me. Icon Me. – By Ooorangeee
Ooorangeeee is a young Chinese artist who does not wish to declare his ‘official credentials’. In his opinion the history has past. It is no absolute guide of the future. We are as good as we are today. Every new day is a blank white sheet.
With his youthful confidence and self-aware naivety, Ooorangeeee creates bold, disturbing, thought-provoking and possiblly highly contentious artworks, some which could not be shown publicly without fear of any backlash. He represents the new generation of Chinese youth who fears no one, idolise no one but hope to be idolised and worship someday. In his own words;
“I hope people see me as a symbol. But reflect upon the message in my art. But I do not claim to offer answers. Rather, I attempt to pose questions…
From the time that we are born, we are nurtured and conditioned by symbols. Our insatiable wants and deep insecurities spur us to pursue different symbols, but ultimately, one discovers that consuming these symbols does not fill us. The initial euphoria that we derived dissipates soon after. The emptiness sink in and we continue in the cycle of relentless consumption. What is the meaning of our existences?
But then I asked; Do we really exist? Can we prove our existence? If we do not exist, what is the point of everything?
“Belief in me.” says God.
Every religion has different forms of ritual, but all share a common promise. That our faith and devotion to it will bring one peace, salvation and fulfilment. Are we masters of our life or bound by symbols?” – Ooorangeeee
My Homage to Eternality – A Video Presentation by Lu De Sheng
As China pay homage to massive economic and social redevelopment, relentless hacking balls dot the nation’s landscape. Homes are torn down and communities are displaced. We walk pass them by everyday. We try to musk from ourselves from the pervasive dust. Such common sights never seem to affect anyone least the displaced. But..
What if it is the playground where you cherish your childhood memories?
What if it is the place where you bond with your best friends?
What if it means that your memories will be erased?
What if it means that you will be forgotten?
Will you be as indifferent? Will the moment be just about a moment, or it is about eternality? Is it about me or about the society? Is it about destruction or creation?
De Sheng painted famous landmarks, such as the Arc De Triomphe, Tiananmen or the Great Wall on community walls that are slated for demolition and proceed to record the eventual downfall of these monuments. According to De Sheng, these “eternal monuments’ are highly symbolic, emotive and perhaps even spiritual for many people. They represent our past, our future, our victories, our achievements, our failures, our vanities and humility. Perhaps it is even a testimony of our pursuit for eternality…for immortality. As civilization rises and descent, when edifice emerge and collapse, De Sheng wonders, what happen if one were to witness their eventual fall from grace and adoration. Will one be as indifferent?
About Lu De Sheng
De Sheng was born in Anhui Bozhou. He graduated from Anhui Normal University and currently lives Wuhu. His works have been show in Anhui, Tianjin, Himalayas Art Museum and the Wuhu Art Museum. “Eternal Monuments” consist of a reality performance art video capturing the creation and destruction of famous landmarks. An installation consisting of large format prints and remnants of the ‘Monument’ will be presented at the exhibition.