I am, because of you
What is most frightful to human beings, more than destitution or solitude, is numbness. Being numb means that one is deprived of the most treasured ability as a person, their life has descended into mechanical repetition, and their spiritual world has begun to degenerate, eventually turning this individual into the member of the walking dead.
How, then, does numbness start? It starts from a loss of respect—sitting idle and profiting without any exertion, which can be further interpreted as incomprehension of and insensitivity to the nature of things, i.e. a form of ignorance. As the complex world blinds the eyes of mankind from seeing its essence, and material affluence bewilders human souls, it is about time we discussed the meaning of life again.
The sentence “we have only one earth” is simple yet serious. Whilst creating fortunes and culture at top speed, human beings have neglected and sacrificed nature – whether by accident or design. In the natural world, there are two conditions on which human beings depend to live, and they are likewise living beings: animals and plant life.
In the Chinese linguistic context, human beings are reckoned to be superior animals, for human beings possess ideas, which we proudly describe as civilisation. Yet in the name of civilisation, the environment has been damaged. It is distressing that we are sacrificing the lives of animals for our blood-stained civilisation. For instance, the use and attraction of ivory for human beings has resulted in the slaughter of elephants. In Africa, an African elephant is being killed every fifteen minutes. However, this is merely one of a million cases of the endangerment of species by man. The exhibition I am, because of you aims at a kind of new enlightenment for the civilising process of human beings; we need to respect not only each other but also all other living beings; we must not only immediately rouse ourselves from numbness but also be rescued from egoistic apathy and ignorance.
I am, because of you is a united appeal from artists internationally: protect animals – stop the massacres. Art is the sublimation of life and the condensation of emotions. Every act of killing by human beings of rare species on the pretext of fortune and civilisation is a path to ignorance and numbness; accordingly, it is a deterioration of spirit and sensibility. We hope to illustrate the significance of a harmonious coexistence of human beings with animals through works of art, letting art pave the way to human civilisation and equality of life.
Exhibition concept for The Nature Conservancy’s ivory project 2015
By Curator Shi Li-Sanderson
“I am, because of you”, 是一次国际艺术家的联合呼吁：保护动物，停止杀戮。艺术是生命的升华，情感的凝聚。当人类以自己的财富和文明为借口，杀害珍稀物种的过程，就是一次走向无知和麻木的过程。那么，它也是一种精神和情感退化的过程。我们希望通过艺术作品诠释人与动物之间和谐并存的生命意义。通过艺术作品，嫁接人类文明与生命平等的未来之路。