“Sacrifice” 犧牲– 127x97cm- Oil on Canvas, 2010

Mixed media using real Taiwanese ‘ghost money’. The kid and his dog are dressed up as chickens using the paper money; there’s a happy contrast between the dour, unpleased kid and his dog’s expressions and the surprise of the chicken costume. Mr. KFC is actually a Chinese guy wearing a KFC costume – he’s holding a can of kerosene and a lighter with a gleeful expression. All is set to go up in smoke.

Interpretations: forcing children into roles/lifestyle that don’t suit them, dressing them up as dolls for the pleasure of adults, or due to the unhealthy influences of the ‘fast food culture’. The Chinese man dressed in white as Kernel Sanders can represent the ‘whitening’ of Asian culture via the spread of Western idealism and globalization; this would be cultural ‘mimicry’ in the postcolonial Bhabhian sense.

The playboy symbol on the lighter further adds a sexual nuance to this piece. Wearing the grin of a dirty old man, the guy is obviously getting some sick satisfaction at the thought of ‘BBQing’ this kid. We could throw in all sorts of psychoanalyses…”I’ll get you my precious… and your little dog, too!”

We could even lean biblical; this painting may be interpreted as a modern rendering of the Old Testament scene where Abraham is ready to sacrifice his son at the Lord’s command:
“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, “Abraham” and he said, “Behold, here I am.” And he said, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (Genesis 22:1-2)”

All in all I would say it refers to Asian parents who are overly eager to push their children into the Western roles and lifestyles they’ve seen in the movies (studying English, playing piano, eating fast food, golden retrievers and SUVs) and thereby satisfying their own need for acceptance into the normalizing influences of internationalization.

這幅畫富含多種意象。例如將不適合小孩子的角色或生活方式強加於他們身上、為了大人的娛樂而將孩子打扮成玩偶、「速食文化」帶來的不健康影響等等。穿著一身白的那位中國人扮成哈蘭德桑德斯(Kernel Sanders), 體現出亞洲文化在全球化和西方理想主義傳播的影響之下, 正在逐漸「白化」。帶有從文化的角度上來模仿巴哈後殖民思想的感覺。

Oil on Canvas Surrealism Oil Painting by Derek Murphy

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