洪東祿
Hung Tung-Lu
簡歷年表 Biography
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Dummies Are Real
文 / 王嘉驥

Dummies
Dummies are real. Dummies are objects. Dummies cannot represent themselves; They must be represented. The dummies as seen in Tung-lu Hung’s works are taken from popular Japanse carton series andvideo games. Those images have been created to represent animagined future. Most of the images serve, more or less, the double function of warrior and savior of future human civilization in their original contexts. Not only so, most of them appear to have double identities. Though “cosplay” or dramatic cosmetic transformation, those heroines are ready to change from mediocrity into super-human. It is against this background that Tung-lu Hung employs those dummies as his models.

Christian Icons
In the backgroumd of his works, Tung-lu Hung draws freely from Christian Images by lesser known Italian master of the 14th and 15th centuries, such as Paolo Veneziano, Vittore Carpaccio and Michele Giambono. Tung-lu Hung got to know these materials entirely though publications. Torn losse from color plates in a large-size book, the Christian images that Hung deems useful are purposely truncated during his process of rephotographing. Those images or icons are appropriated at will. Most of the time, they seem to be chosen mainly for aesthetic purpose, rather than their iconic importance or et cetera. As for their iconographical meanings or significance, Hung only has vague, if not to say faint, ideas.

Flowers
The full-blown flowers seen in Hung’s works are one-hundred-percent artificial. They represent flowers in their likeness but are not real flowers. They are plastic copies, like dummies.

Aura
The stage is set, reminiscent of an altar. A truncated Christian image was pinned up in the background. In the foreground, the artificial flowers are spread all over. In the center, there is Hung’s dummy heroine in her typical gesture. There is light, which is not natural but man-made. Through the artist’s careful manipulation, it is as if the light has partially shed from the holy image behind the dummy. This illusive light bestows an aura---a sacred atmosphere---on the plastic dummy. A new icon is, thus, completed.

Cult
A new icon means a new cult. But this cult of Hung’s betrays a dubious nature. On the one hand, the image resembles a promotion gimmick in any display window of any boutique or department store. On the other hand, the dummy icon, as a new sign, has metaphorically replaced traditional, orthodox religious beliefs and values. The Christian image---out of focus, blurry and remote—has been pushed into the background. Literally speaking, the consumer logic takes over. Subculture takes the lead. Commerce becomes religion and religion commercialized. So far, this cult is about the making and rising of “false” god(s). As shown in Hung’s works, cartoon and video starts become the false goddesses.

Reality
Plastic dummies, mass-printed religious icons, artificial flowers and electrical lighting are all real. They are real in the sense that the younger generations—or more specifically, as Hung deems himself, the X generation as well as Post-X generations—can take as their shelter, find comforts in and feel the intimacy within. Nature with a capital N is becoming secondary, if not a myth yet. Synthetic artificial commodities are now the first-hand reality. Heavily loaded with commercial values and ideologies of all kinds, consumer products dominate and rule.

Boundary
Consumer logic transcends the boundary of nations. Globalization as an emerging idea is a direct result of what Fredric Jameson has called “latecapitalism,””multinational capitalism” and “ media capitalism.” Globalization, in this sense, has mainly been a Western discourse. Through the strategy of globalization, Western—meaning Euro- and U.S.-centered—mentality and identity pervade. Since the majority of non-Western countries, excepting Japan, do not have amy economic, cultural and media enterprises as big and powerful as that of the West, many of them are losing grounds in terms of subjectivity, even suffering the crisis of post-colonial in Hung’s works, the dummy icons are Japanese and the Christian images date back to late Medieval and Renaissance Italy. While East meets West in a peculiar way, the identity of Taiwan, where Hung has come from and is based, is obviously absent in his post-modern images. This seeming absence of Taiwan as most peripheralized state in global politics is indeed well represented. It is this light that Hung’s works impart a tantalizing aura of sentimental decadence, spiritual fatigue and cultural pessimism, which some may be inclined to interpret as typical of a fin-de-siecled syndrome.
 
 
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