Over the last semester and this summer, I worked on developing my forming thesis. My thesis centers around the question: What are the pathologies assumed to manufacture the harmonious appearance of the cultural phenomenon of globalization? I was exploring the variety of ways and forms that propaganda was used in the 21st century to mask international and national tensions and deficits. Specifically, I addressed examples of those pathologies through the juxtaposition of different media. For example, a digital photomontage of different childhood cartoons that are popular in China and different childhood cartoons that are popular in America forced to be in a joyful environment with each other. Those works were to show the forced image created to show harmony that is also used as a masking tool for international relations.
Please Sponsor My Childhood
The thesis needed to be more specific for me to make a series of works that is current and can still move along steadily with time. Over the summer, I read some books that pushed me to develop my thesis to a more specific subject. Specifically, Wuhan Lockdown by Guobin Yang served as a case study to develop my thesis further. This led me to look at how government agencies use social media as a propaganda tool and how companies exploit these political and social events using the same medium, specifically during the coronavirus pandemic in China.
Limited Edition: Moderately Prosperous Society & Monopoly
I am currently working with commercial templates, such as advertisement mockups, infomercials, social media advertisements and merchandise websites. I function as the imagined advertisement office worker that develops these new objects and mockups to advertise in this current time period. These images and videos serve as demos or final materials that made it through the collaboration of an existing large company and some form of Chinese government entity. These satirical works function to address the relations between government control, social media propaganda and company exploitation by using political events as commodity. The question that my work materializes is: Can the three entities be blended even further and what effect would it have?
Exhibition photos by Dave Rizzio. Artwork courtesy of the artist.