A nowadays story: A schoolchild has been assigned to make a craftwork of recycled materials. The parents deliberately bought some cartons of milk and bottled juice so to “produce” enough recycled materials which would be collaged by a glue gun. The outcome seemingly fits the theme but how many would question wastes produced and resources consumed during the process? Does this kind of craftwork serve its purpose or cause more damages to the environment? “isn’t’s own isn’t” – a solo exhibition by LING Chin Tang, Parry – aims to magnify such ridiculous “eco-friendly” phenomena in disguise, symbolised by his free-standing polar bear figurines. From freezing-in-progress polar bears to documentation of resource and energy consumption, the presentation reveals the dilemma between the exhibits (art) and the environment (reality). Extended documentation can be found on the internet to cross-check if this exhibition concludes a deficit or a surplus in its balance sheet, in terms of environmental cost. Audience understanding and interpretation would evolve or get confused along the visit. About environmental protection it may seem, “isn’t’s own isn’t” intends to illustrate this concept in other contemporary issues. People may distort their original intention in order to achieve certain goals. As Daoism puts it, “There should not be the practice of what is good with any thought of the fame (which it will bring), nor of what is evil with any approximation to the punishment (which it will incur).” To artists and anyone, it is a reminder not to be blinded and deviated from one’s inner quest. “isn’t’s own isn’t” taken from E. E. Cummings’ poem darling! because my blood can sing implies the helplessness of self-denial; in this exhibition, self-denial appears as the dilemma between the process and the result, as well as the beginning and the end.
After inserting the coins, people can give the polar bear 20 mins cold
The spectators were able to sense and have fun with how the statues of polar bears were frosted
However, did they think the polar bears in Arctic may be suffered by their consumption of this artwork?
There were two circumstances for the video projection to react the coin insert:
1) If nobody inserts the coins, in the video, the polar bears live in a cold place where the ice and snow was everywhere
2) If someone inserts the coins, in the video, the polar bears live in a warmer place where the ice and snow was melted.
In the exhibition, it was showed the environmental print by making this exhibition. In general exhibition, this kind of materials was hidden deliberately owing to the aesthetic consideration. However, the environmental print is affecting our daily life rather than artwork in fact.