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Introduction of Prey

Author: Ivy Liu Translator: Ivy Liu Proofread by Andrea Keller and Sachiel Yuu May,2012

Prey is an art project created by MadeIn Company, including both performance and installation art. The concept of this project comes from pursuing the aesthetics of "poverty" as well as the thinking about moral issues referring to scar painting. After a systematic and purposeful research, MadeIn Company sent a professional photographer team to get a deep insight into impoverished families which live in Guizhou’s mountain area and Shanghai's suburban districts to find "material" and take pictures for this project. In a further step, MadeIn Company used the classic oil painting technique to repaint the scenes of these families, so that the original impoverished scenes were depicted and turned into aesthetical European oil paintings. The reality and the political revealed from the original photographs has been transformed into artistic quality and aesthetic. Being decorated by the luxuriant and costly ornamental hand-made painting frames, the scenes drawn in these paintings seem even more solemnly and sarcastic. Ultimately, the seemingly unified but still appearing repellent painting installations will be placed and displayed in rich people's houses with luxurious decoration. Moreover, every piece of work will be equipped with a label showing the location where the photo is taken from on Google Map. This inadvertently makes viewers associate with the referent containing in the names of these artworks.

The title "prey" obviously conveys the ironic implication of this project: the poor families which have been highlighted on Google Maps might be the hunting targets of this thorough plan. Accordingly, it can be deduced that the hunter could be the art action itself. The related but contradictory relationship presents the rethinking on moral dimensions of art. From a general point of view, these artworks are a "process of capturing prey", at the same time they are meant to satisfy people's feelings for classicism and their aesthetic pursuit of 'poverty'. In its very nature, however, it displays an aesthetic fetish of "poverty" paired with the elements of morality. The profound implication is that "prey" is a behavior including a certain compassion. It is also a moral redemption and a breakthrough, a turning point in local realistic and scar painting. When people take advantage of cruel and miserable situations in real life, especially by using the peaceful and aesthetically expressive way to represent the inner atmosphere of situations of sufferings, then this discordance between beauty appreciation and moral awareness ionizes the aesthetic relation between art and misery and rises to a rethinking of the moral bottom line of art.

Related Artists:
XU ZHEN® 徐震®

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