In my childhood memory, every children in the neighborhood would gather in front of a TV, watching their favorite Japanese anime heroes fight against evils and emerge victory. They would then go outside and play together. All the kids would immediately choose to be a hero, to be right and to be safe. The villains were picked later, usually from those who didn’t raise their voice fast or loud enough.
It doesn’t change much when I grew up. We put so much importance into one side of perspective, as if the more people agree with their beliefs, the more righteous they will become. It’s interesting that many people are focusing on gathering more of the same opinions, rather than admitting that we all have to live with our differences. I have to wonder if this is what humanity are made to be, a being that amass the same kind of themselves as many as they can before dying? If that is the case, I can’t help but to see the opposite side of this phenomenon, the side that reminds me of the minor kids who had to play villain. Because they act different from the rest who claim to be the right side. Funny that it looks like the scene from the past where we played pretend together, but this time we can’t just decide which side is really a hero or villain anymore.
We live in a time when people who dare to accept the price of being different are scarce, and society will continue blaming them as a new evil to triumph over. I have to believe that at least this endanger kind of humanity will not be perished from this world too soon. No matter how inevitable their extinction seems to be.
I can only hope that we will remember what they look like, how sad and beautiful they are as an extincting species who fight the hard way for their own survival. I want my art to remind us of their existence before they disappear.
There’s one animal who used to serve tirelessly as the backbone of our agriculture, as a domestic pet, a vehicle, and even as a source of meat. In return, my culture give them the meaning of their name - ‘stupid’.
Before the day machine becomes popular, Buffalo are trained and used mainly in farming purpose. We regard them as stupid because we see them obediently follow our command without questions, and never seem to understand, or care, to what happen around them. In modern world where the society tries its best to imitate a trending slogan like ‘be yourself’, or ‘be different’, only a few understand the responsibility that comes with this ambiguity ambition. It’s an irony that nobody seem to notice that they just become even more alike. Everyone is trying to be different in the same way, just because they are being told to do so. The buffalo horns and leash in my character are symbolizing this situation, in fear of this is what we will become in the next generation.
I also have to mention the scout uniform. In my culture, our school will have their ‘Scout’ day once every week, all the way from junior to last year high school. What it does was having their student wear a boy scout uniform, engaging them with a few lessons, and end the day with a song or an anthem. Both students and teachers never ask for its actual meaning or why are they doing so. They do as being told to, and play their part along. From what I see, nobody seem to enjoy it, but choose to pretend not to know what’s going on, rejecting the opportunity to understand its purpose, either for appreciate it or rebel against it for themselves. This is why I put them along with the buffalo horn symbol. As they seems to get along together very well.
Fakeland Rhapsody is an ongoing series where I want to ask the question - are we really moving forward here? Or are we just pretending to make progress and slowly forget how to be a human? The culture we claim to be so proud about is there, but no one ever try to grasp the true and long lost purpose of its existence. Is this a sign that we are slowly become what we regard as ‘stupid’? If this is to be our future, I have to wonder if it’s too late for us to turn back and do something about it now.