Politically Motivated Artworks

Discuss how artists respond to the socio-political world as evident in the White Rabbit Gallery, Decade of the Rabbit exhibition or/and the permanent collection of the NSW Art Gallery. Discuss 3 works.

Artists create an artwork as a tool to clarify current political and social apprehensions that they are concerned about. The artist presents a particular point of view that represents a political or social issue which addresses public concern and stimulates the viewer’s sensitivity. This is known as socio-political art and is portrayed through Ye Sen’s work, Analysis, Sun Lei’s Clarity, and Li Jianfeng’s Newton’s First Law from the White Rabbit Gallery, Decade of the Rabbit exhibition.

Firstly, Ye Sen’s work, Analysis, takes a whole new approach of creativity in expressing his response towards the socio-political world. He attempts to awaken environmental issues and to improve the conditions. He says “tradition is our mother” referring to mother nature. With the help of skilled carvers, Sen made this creation from one single log of hardwood. He chose it because “it looks almost like hard metal”. The purpose of having it look like hard metal is to make the impression of real chains connecting two pieces of wood logs together when in actual fact it is just an illusion created from only the one logwood. These chains symbolise human control over the environment, each other and consequently the world as a whole. The fact that the work is all made of wood represents his view of the reliance on Mother Nature and the destruction of it by the human race. Sen hoped to generate assumptions and consequentially reflection within the public. Therefore making the viewers consider this point of view that he tries to portray, that being the issue of the rapidly degrading planet and endangered wildlife due to mans man’s destruction of the environment. The chain is a metaphor for the food chain, reminding the public of their dependency and exploitation of mother nature and the...