Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Art (MFA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Art

Advisor

Mike Peven

Committee Member

Kristin Musgnug

Second Committee Member

Larry Swartwood

Third Committee Member

Leo Mazow

Abstract

Inspired Living is a juxtaposition of old and new, contemplating the shift of values in contemporary China.

Patriotism used to be one of the key values in the Chinese people's minds, but those values have changed dramatically. Fewer people are thinking about or talking about patriotism, like sacrificing for the country or serving the people. In reality, getting rich and spending money to purchase all kinds of products, either absolute necessities or unnecessary luxuries, has become the key value of many Chinese people.

The images used in this project are all found and come from various sources, including books and the Internet. I am juxtaposing old patriotic posters, which ran through several decades in the history of People's Republic of China, with contemporary Chinese movie stills, which reflect the overwhelming status of consumerism, to portray this dramatic change. At the same time, I am questioning the value of patriotic propaganda and the value of consumerism.

With white borders and red characters, the format of this series mimics the old propaganda posters. The borrowed commercial product slogans are symbolic of the dominating strength of mass production and mass consumption, although in this series of work they are not associated with the products they are originally advertising.

The exhibition consists of eighteen digital images printed on enhanced matte paper. All the images are printed on a large scale, much larger than the real poster copy, to emphasize the larger-than-life effect of propaganda. Also, the quality of the enhanced matte paper is very similar to that of the old posters.

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