Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Demo at Albany 2012_2" --- Sold

This is my second demo at Albany. I had some difficulties to make the white rose make sense, but I like the colors I put on it.

Came back from New England. I wanted to take a break. It happened to be the Good Friday and Jonathan had no school. We decided to do something together with our family. We went to the movie theater and checked out the "Hunger Games". I heard it is very popular now and I was very curious about it. After about two hours of bumpy ride visually, the movie ended. Song and I uttered almost in unison: "That was a very BAD movie!" I regretted I have spent money and time watching children killing each other. Being squeezed among the crowd coming out (majority are teenagers), I felt sad. Do you call that "entertainment"? Do we still have any sense of morality? If we enjoy this movie, what is the difference between us and the bad guys who created and ran the "Hunger Games"? Watching the young bloods flowing in front me with the residual of excitement on their pretty faces. I was completely in a lost. It is not a generation gap. It is not a culture shock. I felt I have just landed in alien planet. I want to cry out: "Save our kids!!!"

18 comments:

Johan Derycke said...

Yes, sad but true... society's moral standards are fading away due to this... sad but true.

Shane said...

Sadly I'm afraid this generation is not aware of reality. They may think that it is found in reality shows. The producers of this show are apealing to this ignorance and have carefully crafted this movie with a target audience, sorry that you got caught in the crossfire, respectively, Shane

silentwitness said...

Very nice painting, Qiang, and lucky buyer. About the movie, thank you for advocating AGAINST seeing it. I have not been to a movie theater since 1982 and don't plan to return. We have rented a few movies (fewer than 6) over the past 25 years. I too worry about what our society finds "entertaining" and it makes me very sad to see people hooked on reality shows. Thank you for sharing your insights and for not being afraid of speaking from the heart. We need more of that.

Gayle Bell said...

I always enjoy seeing your lovely paintings and reading your comments about art and life in general. No matter what the "critics" say, I refuse to view violent movies. How awful and frightening that young people, having been exposed to violent video games from a young age, find this type of entertainment amusing. With all the unpleasantness in the world, I prefer to surround myself when possible with images that are beautiful and sublime. Thank you for making the world a better place with your art!

Barbara Pask said...

I agree also, it's a sad world when people find it entertaining to kill one another. I worry about the future for my grandchildren. Your painting is just lovely.

- said...

Great painting.
The movies that is too intense, I can't finish them. Even many cartoons those are too much of violation, I can't finish them, too.

Unknown said...

Hi Quiang,
There may be much reason to lament the lack of morality in entertainment in our culture—but the storyline of the Hunger Games is not one of them (although the movies may well be dreadful and do a poor job with the complex moral issues underscoring the plot—I haven’t seen them)! The author, Suzanne Collins, writes about war as a topic in her books for young adults often because education about war to young people is something she is passionate about—her father was a Vietnam Veteran, and his experiences affected her deeply. What better way to make war relevant to young people—and to show the insanity and horror of war—(as well as comment on our culture’s disgusting fascination with reality TV shows) than to make innocent children the forced participants of war? Furthermore, the main character, Katniss is 16-17—you don’t have to look far within our own history to see 16 and 17 year old boys going off to die in war—and far younger child soldiers have been used in all sorts of conflicts throughout time as well as today. When two 18-year olds are sent into a war-zone to kill each other is it really that different than two 15 year-olds? The other main subject dealt with within the book is that of colonialism/abuse of power—a minority of people (the people of the Capitol) live in opulent luxury, where luscious food and a steady stream of mind-numbing entertainment keep them pacified—while the rest of the world lives amidst severe poverty, starvation, and heavy oppression to provide them with that food and entertainment. Sound familiar? Think North America with its all-you-can-eat buffets and epidemic obesity, stores selling cheap goods, and obsession with fashion while so many in the rest of the world face issues like starvation, poverty, child labour (to bring us those cheap goods), and corruption. In reading The Hunger Games we are disgusted by the actions of those in the capitol—but then realize that they are not that different than our own actions here in North America—we are forced to look more deeply at our own morality. (And the whole book is based on the ancient Roman formula of panem et circenses, and Greek mythology, and ancient gladiator fights, so there is more content there).
Finally, The Hunger Games is a series targeted at older teens but has somehow found itself in the hands of 11-12 year olds who are too young to understand the important messages in this series. This is not a fault of the series, but a fault of parents who should be screening what their children are reading.
So Quiang, I bet the movie really was bad—but the Hunger Games storyline is no reason to be worried as it’s meant to start discussion on important issues that we face both every day and in war. Racy music videos, little girls wearing revealing outfits, use of violent video games amongst children, poor parental surveillance of what their children are doing/watching/reading are the real things to be worried about! I hope this post helps set your mind at ease if only a little.

Shane said...

somehow found itself in the hands of 11~ 12 year olds? Maybe not by mistake, the ratings game has always helped producers reach their target consumer, Did the spectacle of circuses in Rome help their patrons become more conversant on moral issues?? I respect Silent witness and Gayle's objectivity.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

your paintings have great edges and brushwork. I always enjoy them.

The making of these kinds of movies is driven by $$. That's the bottom line.

bjkerwick said...

I was moved by your reaction to the movie "The Hunger Games" and it is quite understandable. I recently saw the movie. Most of the teens in the thearter have read the book, in fact, have read the trilogy and know how it ends. I i hadn't at least read the first book before seeing the movie it would have made little sense to me. The book makes clear that it is a classic good versus evil - against all odds. It pits the individual against the all powerful state, democracy against totalitarianism and promotes loyalty to family and friends. It also shows(Hopefully in the sequel movie) how when a a people are oppressed enough, they will rise against the oppressor. The idea of parents being forced to submit their children to a lottery, the winners being forced to serve as gladiators in a fight to the death is totally repugnant. Yet I suppose the Christian slaves forced to fight to the death as entertainment for the Romans were not much more than teenagers, so the idea is not new.
I am a grandmother and saw the movie with two grandchildren and several of their friends aged 14-17. I am only writing this to suggest that we shouldn't despair too much for our teenagers who enjoyed this movie. Still it remains a mystery to me that a book with the title "The Hunger Games" would attract anyone to read it! That said, if your son has a copy you might take a look at it.
Best Wishes,
Beryl K

Unknown said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you about how awful the violence is that is sold to our kids these days. It's a shame that so many people have bought into Hollywood's runaway addiction with violence and all other vices. Brainwashing in the name of money. I'll spend MY money on beauty like that which comes from your brush and palette! Thank you for your paintings and your blog!

jen said...

The Hunger Games is George Orwell's 1984 meets today's Reality show, "Survivor". I knew watching the movie that if a viewer hadn't read the book, much would be lost to interpretation. It's too bad, really, because there's a wonderful message to our young adults in there...Luckily, I think they're actually reading, lol!

Johan Derycke said...

I can understand that the people who create such movies want to send a positive message to the world. But why spend loads of money and energy in creating a series of violent situations/scenes to send a message to the world that violence, greed for power and mass manipulation is bad, when we see this in the news every day?
Why?
Isn't this a bit like giving 2 arguing kids a knife, putting them in front of eachother, and telling them not to hurt eachother? Imagine if we'd treat our kids like this regularly when they argue... one of them is bound to use the knife and blame the parents, who gave the knife...

Shane said...

This is a good point. A.look at Christ parables would be instructive here. Stories told to communicate truth not sensationalism to excite the imagination.

Deb said...

Should art always be pretty and pleasant? That idea is so depressing to me.

Nina said...

I agree with Qiang...and in addition to being sad that movies like this are viewed as entertainment, it's an unfortunate sign of the times. There are more effective, less bloody ways of teaching our kids the dangers of a corrupt government. Educating them to vote properly, to prevent the wrong people from taking office, and learning to have a say in politics, for the good of their nation....how about a movie about this instead. This movie will only spark copycat behavior I think, in spite of some well meaning intentions by the author of the book.
Thank you Qiang, for your beautiful paintings, and your honest opinions presented in this blog.

Shane said...

Many Artist have depicted the ugly beautifully and truthfully. That's where grace comes in. It's not necessarily the subject matter but the crass emphasis that is on trial here. The obscuring of the truth for our impressionable youth for the sake of profit, not art.

Gayle Bell said...

I think that life lessons can be imparted without the need to resort to gratuitous violence. A skilled artist can depict the moral hazards and dilemmas that confront one in life without resorting to sensationalizing the point. To do so indicates a lack of respect for the intelligence of the audience.