Shelfie 自拍

Scotland_edited_edited.jpg

2018

30cms (W) x 24cms (H)

Oil on Panel

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It's fair to say the selfie culture in China is going from strength to strength. I know many people (mainly female) who will post photos of themselves online on an almost daily basis. Some use apps to change their appearance, others use clothing hair and make-up.

 

This was the first character study I did and I chose a friend who had an extraordinary ability to look almost completely different between photos, and seemed to understand how to manipulate her own external appearance to suit what image she needed to portray. At the same time, I'd say she didn't have the same awareness of her own mind, who she is, wants to be, likes and dislikes. She wasn't wealthy (the pink background is a broken up cardboard shoe box) but had an enormous collection of lipsticks and products, so I chose to do something that was part linked to selfie culture, part shelfie culture (which is where people post photos of their bathroom cabinet to express some aspect of their personality).

When I came to China I was imbued with a western view that 'it doesn't matter what you are on the outside, it's what's inside that counts' and that you should strive to fully understand yourself, but found an environment where there's a much higher premium on the surface and relationships, for which people will sacrifice internal certainty and peace. I love thinking about this topic as there are social, political, theological, philosophical, medical and economic aspects to it, and it's difficult to capture most of that in a single image, so in this painting I just wanted to hint at the role of physical externality for this person.

可以说,中国的自拍文化正日趋强大。我认识很多人(主要是女性);她们几乎每天都会在网上发布自己的照片。有的人通过修图软件,滤镜展现不同形象,有的人借助服装搭配,发型和妆容。

这是我的第一个人物研究,画中人物是我的一个朋友,她很厉害,可以通过不同照片展现几乎完全不一样的形象,而且她似乎很会通过不同的外部形象来满足她表达的需要。同时,我想说她似乎对自己的认知,自己想成为什么样的人,喜欢和不喜欢什么不断有新的想法。她并不富有(粉红色的背景是一个破碎的硬纸板鞋盒),但是有大量的口红和收藏,所以这幅画融合了两种文化,一部分是自拍,一部分是当下ins流行的另一种自拍文化(通过发布浴室架子上的照片来展示个性)

我刚来中国时,完全是西方想法,觉得“外在无所谓,内在才是最重要的”,你应该努力充分了解自己。但后来发现,这里是一个表面和人际关系有更高溢价的环境,人们可以为此牺牲内在的确定性和内心的平静。我喜欢思考这个话题,因为有社会,政治,神学,哲学,医学和经济多方面原因呢,很难在一个单一的图像中表现出大部分,所以在这幅画里,我只是想表达外部效应对这个人的作用。