Institutionalization

  • “Institutionalization” is a series of paintings depicting the process of institutionalization. The first painting, “Delusion”, conveys the beginning of institutionalization when authority presents an illusion. Though the colors are dreamy and beguiling, the image is rather dull and reveals the potential crisis below the surface of delusion.
     
    The hyper-materialized state of contemporary Chinese society produces people who lack the ability to stop and truly pay attention. People expire chasing money. They set “money” as the sterling standard for happiness and forget their original dreams and authentic selves. My second piece in the series attempts to convey some ideas from the German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, who explained that the inauthentic person is one who functions as a "they-self". This person's values, commitments, and objectives are kicked around and molded by dominant culture rather than personal will. However, without any institutionalization, there lies a possibility that the world would become as dark as the background of this painting. I believe that a goal worth aiming toward is learning how to be authentic within the confines of the institution.
     
    In the last painting in this series, I depict the last step of Institutionalization, as Taoism’s doctrine on the circle of endless life. If there is a beginning, there will be an end,  just as this painting demonstrates the deconstruction of authority and the new birth of institution.