Artist: Yinka Shonibare
At the “Dreaming Rich” exhibition, Shonibare continued his exploration of post-colonialism and colonialism. In these works, he reflects on the life in Hong Kong. He critics everything influenced by British colonialism. The theme of wealth, culture, social status are working together in this collage.
Yinka Shonibare used 22 carat gold leaf, paper, African Dutch wax fabric, pen, and newspaper cuttings.
The center of the composition is quite clearly expressed in the ideological content of the main plot. The accent on color and almost empty space in the center are enhancing attention. We can see lines-roads connecting parts of the drawing. Gold leaves and flowers, people and skyscrapers contrasts with phrases.
The representational art has a subject. In this case, the title is verbose. His work, at the same time innocent and disturbing, addressed to the history and culture, destroying the boundaries of ethnography, design, and contemporary art.
I spent some time exploring the work. The connection between parts catched my attention firstly. Then I read the lines and my feelings became mixed. The impression of “fancy collage” disappeared. I found out that these lines were not made by the artist, but some homeless’ people made these notes.
Shonibare wanted to illustrate the economy of Hong Kong, desire for luxury and poverty. The controversy surrounds poverty and power, wealth and danger. He attached the homeless’ thoughts to show that everyone wants to be rich.
When we look at a work of art as a social phenomenon, we find many cases of special education level of social consumption. This work needs some time to be understood. It represents too many individual, social and historical issues as the gap between rich and poor (contrast of text lines and the gold leaf), the historical influence of colonization and the absents of the visible conclusion.