Under Pressure

For a very long time, there has been an unsettling feeling that touches my heart; it is a universal, unintentional yet earnest calling from the spirit and the soul.

I still remember visits to the Space Museum when I was little. I enjoyed lying down in darkness feeling pressured by the planets pushing in or pulling away from one another. It was frightening, along with an enigmatic pleasure of awe and wonder. This “planetary pressure” appears like a white giant sphere over the sky. I have no idea why this pressure, suffocating as it is, enchants me at the same time.

This pressure is not merely personal. It is about the most fundamental feelings of humanity: fear, pain and solitude. Through my research on ‘pressure’, I came across readings about people who suffered from different degrees of pressure: from epilepsy, autism, Parkinson’s, body anomalies to mental illness, depression and solitary confinement, etc. I find that the tensions between the physical and mental aspects of a person, the energy delivered by a space and the physical expression of a mental state all inspire me profoundly.

A lot of autistic children seek pressure to cope with the pressure of living in this world. They search out the tiniest spaces through which to squeeze themselves in order to calm their body, to relax their heightened senses. Normal people find this physical pressure suffocating, but autistic people find it comforting.

The tremors, twitching or jerking movements of bodies in epileptic seizure fascinate me. The grotesque and neurotic gestures remind me of organic forms in our nature. There is a deeply touching energy reflected from these uncomfortable shapes formed by the intense muscles.

Animals and nature demonstrate violence and harmony as well as beauty and horror. In my ink drawings, the form and posture of plants, fruits and vegetables in deformation represents life’s fragility and strength to survive. Pain is colossal and its pressure could appear in a weightless but delicate form. The most insignificant forms could be the most powerful manifestation of beauty itself.

Inspired by the human body suffering under various forms of pressure, Under Pressure explores beauty in body forms and the spirituality. Where pressure is taking place, life manifests a great survival desire and energy.