​Viracist

Neon light

May 2020

1/3

This series of artworks presented in neon was inspired by what I have seen and heard during the outbreak of COVID-19. Its name is Viracist, which is a word I coined during the epidemic. As a blending word of “virus” and “racist”, the new word Viracist serves as a mockery to those who would use the epidemic as an excuse to discriminate against other races. In China, the virus was first discovered in Wuhan, so a large number of Chinese began to blame and discriminate against Wuhan people. In western countries, many news reports directly equated the Asian race with coronavirus and even called the Asian race “bat-eater” and other insulting names, which have made many Asian people suffer serious discrimination in life and on the Internet. For example, in the early stages of the epidemic, many Asian people wearing masks were beaten because the government did not encourage them to wear masks (Ironically, in the middle and later stages of the epidemic, many governments began to encourage or even force people to wear masks). Through these phenomena, I realize that the outbreak of COVID-19 seems to tear down the superficial peace and harmony that the society tries to maintain, and I also feel that the issue of racial discrimination and prejudice between people never seems to disappear from society.

The third piece of my series is a cartoon image of Trump holding a needle, which was inspired by a piece of news in American during the epidemic (Trump suggests “injection” of disinfectant to beat coronavirus and “clean” the lungs). It is hard to believe that this kind of ridiculous comments were coming from a president, but in fact, it was because of these slighting attitude and negative policy adopted by many governments that people paid a heavy price at the beginning of the epidemic. For example, Li Hongliang, a doctor from Wuhan, China, as well as the whistleblower of COVID-19, was admonished by the government before the outbreak of the virus. In the UK, in the face of the epidemic, the government initially proposed such a negative policy as herd immunity. These ridiculous messages directly prove that in dealing with the crisis, the first concern of many governments is not its citizens’ lives, but its political interests. The so-called human rights, in many cases, are just a piece of empty talks manipulated by the politicians.

 

I chose neon lights for these three artworks, which were influenced by the artists Tracey Emin and Bruce Nauman. I think a direct and bold approach is a good way to address some of the tough problems that I want to address. With these bright and eye-catching lights, I hope to catch the eyes of the audience so that they realize that what I want to express is also bright and eye-catching.

Viracist

Yes, I'm a bat-eater

Just Flu

Size: Viracist 40cm*65cm

         Yes, I'm a bat-eater 70cm*100cm

         Just Flu 70cm*90cm

It was Doris Salcedo's artworks and the epidemic realized me about the serious issue of racial discrimination. For which I started to prepare the work of Viracist, and I am planing that I can continue to produce a series of artworks that reflect social problems in the future. 

Doris Salcedo

Noviembre 6 y 7, 2002

Bruce Nauman’s neon light installations also give me inspiration.He explores a language game with a neon tube as a medium and discovers the fun of it. Under his artistic creativity, such kind of material can be seen everywhere like daily groceries has been given numerous possibilities and changed its original nature.

Bruce Nauman

The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truth, 1967

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