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嗨!你看見什麼?|Topaz Kuo 郭力

2021.04.13 - 2021.05.08


 

-Topaz Kuo 郭力-

1994 出生台北,台灣
2019 南佛羅里達大學,美術學士(主攻繪畫)

 

創作自述

作為一個國際留學生在美國,文化對我來說是最重要和直接的影響。美國文化是人們不斷探討的一個話題,每個人對於這個文化都抱持不一樣的想法和認知。人們的生活方式展現了一個地方的文化,而飲食也是最明顯的部分。在留學的過程中,我生活的區域很少有亞洲餐廳,但是一條街上卻有十幾至二十家速食店。
這對我來說是很不可思議的,因為這些速食店賣的都是差不多的餐點,然而這就是美國人的生活。速食是快速、便利和簡單的,他們不需要花太多的時間去選擇和等待。“變簡單”對他們來說就是他們的一種生活方式,這就像他們的文化一樣,讓一個複雜的關係變成一盤簡單的沙拉盤。社會學家喬治楊里茲曾提出了一個概念,就是社會麥當勞化的現象,這個現象就是將速食餐廳的準則像是效率至上、可計算性、標準化和均一化的服務套用在生活上,這個概念也淺移默化的支配了美國社會的各個層面,甚至影響到全世界。
在我看來速食產業是最能夠代表和呈現美國文化的主題,並且也是讓我最有感受和觸動的題材。我想將那些我所觀察到的畫面和不斷地吸引我的關注的色彩和造型記錄下來,並且呈現我所看到的美國文化。

 

在這次的項目中,什麼是你看到的。每個人都來自不一樣的城市,有著不一樣的家庭,不一樣的生活環境和不一樣的過去,這些不一樣的經驗造就了每個人的獨特性。人們對於任何事物的想法都取決於他們的獨特性,但是同時也會產生出共鳴。這次的項目希望可以引發觀眾與作品跟觀眾們之間的互動和連結,並且他們可以去討論他們所看見的畫面,以他們的角度去解釋,因為不同的經驗,每個人所看到的就會有所不同。
我不想說明和定義每一幅作品究竟到底是什麼,因為我覺得這都取決於每個人的想法,每個人認為的有可能都是不一樣的,而這些作品也有可能任何東西。

 

人類的視覺範圍是有限的,所以人類會利用腦袋中的記憶和想像去填補那些我們看不到的部分。而這些記憶來自於每個人不同的生活經驗。這些畫作都只是一個部分,我運用顏色和形狀的呈現,讓人們去思考和聯想。但是這些作品來自於我所看到的畫面,但當他們被畫出來後,我認為他們就不在是一個固定的東西。
可能很多的人可以透過這些色彩和形狀聯想到同樣的事物,這是很正常和合理的現象,並且我認為這是現在環境所造就的,因為全球化的關係,人們的生活環境愈來愈相像,很多的文化特色也逐漸在消失。這不一定是一種壞事但是這也提醒著人們應該保護和保留自己的文化。
文化多元可以讓人們產生更多的碰撞,讓人們更有創造力和想像力,而不會變得大家都一樣。藝術紀錄了人們的文化和歷史,而我想利用我的作品記錄我生活的當下,而這就是我所看到的美國文化。

 

As a foreign student in the United States, American culture has been the most prominent influence in my life. American culture is a widely-discussed topic, and its perception varies from one person to the other.
Personal habits differ depending on where a person is from. Take for example, food, one of the first and foremost elements of any culture that a foreigner becomes acquainted with. During my studies in the US, I could hardly find any Asian restaurants in my neighborhood, but on the same street one could easily identify over ten fast food restaurants.
To me, this was hard to conceive, because all of these fast food restaurants sold the same type of meals. I then realized that this was a cornerstone of American culture: Americans wanted something that was fast and simple, they wanted to spend less time choosing and waiting.

 

“Simplification” has become the American way of life, as evidenced in other aspects of their culture, in which they tend to transform complex relationships into something as simple as a side of salad. The sociologist, George Ritzer, termed this phenomenon as the “McDonaldization of society,” referring to the tendency to apply the characteristics of fast food restaurants such as efficiency, calculability, and standardization to other services in life. This phenomenon has gradually encompassed every aspect of American society, and to greater extent, the rest of the world. In my opinion, I see the fast food industry is one of the most impressive manifestations of American culture - a subject that has inspired me, a phenomenon that I would like to use color and form to record.

 

From this project, you will come to see that each person’s own history and past experience shapes his or her own perceptions today. But at the same time, this perception resonates with each other. This project hopes to trigger the interaction between the audiences’ connection with each other, while explaining what they see using their own interpretations, resulting in different opinions of the same piece of work.
So instead of explaining and defining each piece, I intentionally leave this open to the viewer for interpretation. Different is to be expected.

 

Humans have a tendency to subconsciously fill in what they cannot see from parts of their memory and imagination, which stems from their own life experience. These paintings are only parts of a whole, in which I used colors and shapes to stimulate thought association. But these paintings come from my own perceptions, and once they have been drawn on a canvas, they no longer have a fixed definition. Nevertheless, it is normal and reasonable for people to make similar associations from the same colors and shapes. This is the effect of globalization: the majority conform and lose their particularities. While this may not necessarily be a bad phenomenon, it does remind us of the necessity to protect and preserve our distinct cultures. A diverse culture encourages collisions (of the good sort), resulting in people becoming more creative and diverse, as opposed to becoming more dull and homogeneous. Art documents our culture and paints our history; thus I would like to use art to record this present moment in my own life, to document what I perceive American culture to be.