February 04 – February 26, 2011
Curated by Fan-en Zoe Chiu
Artist: Hai-hsin Huang
Opening Reception: Friday, February 4, 6-8PM
ISE Cultural Foundation is pleased to present “Comfortably Numb” curated by Fan-en Zoe Chiu at Front Space.
Artist statement by Hai-hsin Huang:
“It’s all for your own good ah…”
In the movie “I Not Stupid” (Singapore, 2002), you would often hear the chubby mom repeating this line to her children throughout the movie. This might also be a quite familiar sentence that shapes up a collective memory for those who are raised in Asia (or perhaps universally?). We live in a rather safe and peaceful time, and we are always told what is right, what is good, and what our value should be. There is an invisible manipulative power behind all these progressive cultivations of certain ideology or socialization. To me, the process of being told to follow certain rules, in order to achieve a commonly accepted consensus to maintain the harmony of the society, is more like a compromise to something seemingly “correct” yet in fact just as absurd as the airplane safety instruction.
The imagery of “For Your Own Good” is primarily gathered from all the information sources released from the “official” institutions, such as hospitals, Department of Defense, schools, prisons…and so on. The original images clearly points out all different instructions either delivering politically correct messages or leading us to the path of an ultimate happy, healthy and safe life. In them, I saw the very same absurdity and disturbance as those from the airplane safety instruction. A sense of dark humor is brewing under the surface of the big calm–just like drinking a glass of overnight water–completely indescribable oddness.