Title

Ant Tribe

Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Art (MFA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Art

Advisor

Tom Hapgood

Committee Member

Michael Peven

Second Committee Member

Marilyn Nelson

Third Committee Member

Larry Swartwood

Abstract

"Ant Tribe" describes the post-80s generation university graduates who live together in poor conditions without social security in communities around China's major metropolises. They dream of a better life in big cities but struggle with low-paying jobs. These struggling "elites" have become the fourth weak social group, after peasants, migrant workers and unemployed people. The reason why these college graduates are compared to ants is that they are like ants: clever, hardworking, politically weak and living in groups.

The real world is always different from the ideal world of the "Ant Tribe" in China. They often lose their purposes in a complex society. It is more important for them to recognize the distance between the real and imaginary in order to rethink whether it is a right choice to stay in a big city and try to realize their dreams. The intention of the "Ant Tribe" installation is to explore the process and concept of changing between the real and fantasy. In the installation, I hope to portray the "Ant Tribe" phenomenon widely and deeply from an artist's perspective. The most important thing for me is using my artistic practice to investigate the power of the media over the contemporary subject in order to activate the viewers to question some social issues regarding humanity consciousness. My artwork should be thought - provoking for them. I would like to use my visual language to convey specific social issues to inquire how far the viewers are from their dreams. I hope they think about themselves in their complex society physically and psychologically when they go through my work.

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