Urban Legend Series
This series deals with fables or what is now commonly referred as urban legends. I am particularly intrigued by the fact that a legend is an uncensored reflection of our desires, fears, expectations or curiosity. Like the anonymity of an Internet message board, that of urban legend reveals people's true thoughts about sensitive topics including sex, death, religion and politically incorrect matters.
A legend tends to be altered every time a person tells it to another, as in the game of "pass along." A legend always allows a storyteller to put his or her feelings and opinions into it. Regardless of whether a story is based on a real event or is fiction, a tale grows into a legend that reflects our voices. I aim to depict and explore our fascination with these urban legends.
Deeply rooted cultural habits and customs are difficult to abandon. It is amusing and sometimes revealing to observe how people behave in unfamiliar distant places. Based on this idea, I have created four series of digital photo-collages: "Tourists on the Moon," "Traveling Games," "Cyber Amish County" and "Native American Reservation on the Moon."
"Tourists on the Moon" and "Traveling Games" reflect an anti-heroic version of space travel and deals with an ordinary human practice in extraordinary places. Using computer montage, I have created an imaginary tableaux of tourists on the moon and inside video games, taking snapshots and posing for the camera. I am intrigued by this activity that so many people from different countries and backgrounds all engage in. "Tourists on the Moon" and "Traveling Games" both examine the compulsions of a document oriented society. Tourists in particular feel a need to "prove" their experience by documenting themselves within the spectacular or famous scene. Taking an ironic position, I am both amused by and critical of the insatiable human appetite for sensation and novelty.
"Cyber Amish County" is a genre of situation caricature. In this project, images of Amish people have been placed into a computer generated cyber space. Within a state-of-the-art electronic wonderland, the Amish attempt to maintain their traditional simple lifestyle.
Like the Amish series, "Native American Reservation on the Moon" features an element of incompatibility and rootlessness. Maintaining subtle humor, the series creates a hypothetical account of Native Americans that lost their original lands and were forced to settle on a distant satellite in order to carry on with their traditional culture and heritage.
The tendency of humans to maintain a cultural continuity or familiar habits despite an apparent incongruity with surroundings or circumstances is universal. Whether due to tourism or involuntary displacement, humans have a propensity to carry on with the habits and traditions that define their group identity. In creating these circumstances of displacement in extreme, my goal is to highlight this human characteristic.