For people who live in the safe zone, most of the knowledge of wars is recreated by media, the cruel reality turns into an option that exists in the virtual world. Started from a monthly death toll in Syria Civil War, Hong Kong artist Yuen Chun Tai dated back to the history and started a series of research of this on-going armed conflict. Is it possible to raise the awareness of an issue through arts in few seconds while audiences look at the works?
The artist’s attention was being caught by a data in 2013, it’s the 60,000 death toll of civilians in the Syria civic war up to 2013 March. The war started from March 2011 until now, which began with anti-government protests against of corrupted government of Bashar al-Assad before escalating into a full-scale civil war. The conflict is now more than just a battle between those for or against President Assad, with joining of other parties and countries, there seems no hope of the end of the civil war. Quickly the 5 digits death toll has risen to 200,000 in a blink of an eye in early 2015.
Being a spectator we may never be able to feel the civilian’s pain or what they actually suffered everyday during the horrific battle. Just like Sotang said, we are not “there”. However, there is a way to think and perhaps to imagine, which is that we can “choose” to look at the images of those stories instead of ignore/walk away. The emotion of shock can wear off in time, but the duration supposed to sustain longer for people who care about the issue, and for artists who sense the impact. The “after images” of the horrific photos are hidden in our conscious. Through creating works from these impact into drawings and installations, Yuen hopes to prevent herself from being adaptive to the brutal as well as to think what she could feedback to the society as an artist. The artist intends to show the result of dismantling, re-forming, and re-composing these afterimages and data in this exhibition. Hopes to bring the viewer to have a sense of being “there”.
- Yuen Chun Tai, Red Waves in Century, 2015
- Yuen Chun Tai, Rubbles, 2015
- Yuen Chun Tai, When smoke get in your eyes ( total 12 pieces), 2015