Artist Statement - Serious Animation and Ethical Criticism

By showing viewers the relationships between humans and humans, and between humans and nonhumans within a world of other super-intelligent creatures through an animal’s point of view, my animations seek to confront ethical issues such as aggression, racism and animal abuse.

Unlike the single narrative storytelling techniques used in traditional animations to amuse and entertain audiences, my animations have nonlinear narratives that engage viewers to critically reflect on social and ethical issues that surround us. One of my main themes and areas of interest is in animal rights, largely due to my personal experiences, memories and fondness with animals.

When I was a child, I lived close to a slaughterhouse. One day I saw a man hold a cow’s head and use a big hammer to hit the cow’s forehead. It took twenty hard blows to the cow’s head to kill that cow. I noticed tears falling from the cow’s eyes, like a human being's desperate cry in the last moment of its life. This horrific scene left me with a deep impression. More than ten years have passed and these haunting memories have driven me to explore the possibilities of using animation as the tool to criticize the ethicality of this behavior.

We humans believe that we live in and have built highly developed civilizations. However, from a broader moral perspective and looking again at our fine arts, music, food, medical industry, we will find many deadly sins toward animals. Animals’ fears of death and desires to live are no different from a human being’s. All animals on this planet are creatures that share existence with human beings and deserve to be free and all lives should be treated equally. Human beings believe that they are unique and privileged. We hunt animals for pleasure, and sacrifice animals during Holidays. We kill animals for food, and have developed food factories such as Tyson Foods and JBS USA that terminate billions of lives every day. We praise butchers as heroes. For example, many masterpieces use the Spanish Bull-Fighter as their subject. The followers of the spectacle prefer to appreciate this bloody sport as a 'fine art'. We use parts of animals’ bodies for musical instruments and clothes. Why we deliberately ignore the ethicality of this massacre but at the same time criticize Nazi Concentration Camps use human hair and skin for fabric and leather?

With all of these thoughts in mind, I created a series of animations to show the relationship between humans and nonhumans from a super-intelligent creature’s perspective in a fictional world. In this world, the super-intelligent creatures do to humans what humans do to animals in the human-centered world. By animating this distorted story, I proposed new insights and compelled people to think about our evolution and culture from a different perspective, and am aware of the possibilities, potential and connections between my animations and my audiences, as well as the connections between the virtual world in my animation and real world when presenting my animations in the gallery space. Instead of using the traditional film video methods of screening my animated work, I developed my animations into video based art installations. I created ceramics containers based on forms of the containers in my animations, then decorated these containers by projecting my animations on their surface. Viewers simultaneously see multiple animations on multiple surfaces of the ceramics allowing the viewer create his/her own story.

Through animation based on art practice, by projecting my thoughts and my personal experience on distorted stories, I propose new insights and compel audiences to think about the unvarnished beauty and ugliness of the world. By bringing awareness of social problems and ethical issues that surround us and criticize them through animation, I’ll take my art as weapon and try to improve this world be more harmonious for every sentient life to live in.