- 4th October 2018
- Blog, News
- Identity Politics?
- Your identity is everyone’s business. So it seems. Who are you supposed to be? What’s your badge? In 2018, voices are vying for top pitch in culture wars. From social media elites to political grassroots. Notions of the ‘cool’. The ‘traditional’ and ‘authentic’. The ‘national’ identity. Everything in between. All heavily contested. So is cultural appropriation appropriate? When was it ever inappropriate? Where do today’s artists stand on this issue of culture and identity? Twenty years before this 21st century noise, Chua Ek Kay wrestled with profound cultural guilt. The late artist sought ‘truth’ in contemporary ink expression. His instinct was to fuse ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ art forms and ideas. Yet peer pressure mounted on him to keep Chinese traditional form intact. Be traditional or be damned. In the end, Chua Ek Kay forged his own vision of self and art. It was a hard-won battle: he overturned convention yet retained the spiritual essence of his literati craft. It still took years for his courageous work to be understood for what it was: a radical act of rebellion just to be himself. Perhaps the conflicts of tribal duty before self will never disappear…it is what makes us human. In light of this, what would your journey have been?
- The story of Being and Becoming Chua Ek Kay is on Amazon worldwide. Be inspired.
- #brave #artists #boundaries #identity #culturewars #beingandbecoming #chuaekkay