The story goes that England’s Edward III, after a victory in the Battle of Crécy, laid siege to Calais, while Philip VI of France ordered the city to hold out at all costs. Philip failed to lift the siege, and starvation eventually forced the city to parley for surrender.
Edward offered to spare the people of the city if any six of its top leaders would surrender themselves to him, presumably to be executed. Edward demanded that they walk out almost naked, wearing nooses around their necks, and carrying the keys to the city and castle. One of the wealthiest of the town leaders, Eustache de Saint Pierre, volunteered first, and five other burghers soon followed suit, stripping down to their breeches. Saint Pierre led this envoy of emaciated volunteers to the city gates. It was this moment, and this poignant mix of defeat, heroic self-sacrifice, and willingness to face imminent death that Rodin captured in his sculpture, scaled somewhat larger than life.
In history, though the burghers expected to be executed, their lives were spared by the intervention of England’s Queen, Philippa of Hainault, who persuaded her husband to exercise mercy by claiming that their deaths would be a bad omen for her unborn child.
Noblesse Oblige 2012, the artist uses her choice of subject matter and title to bring this phrase into consideration in modern times, asking how these words would be understood nowadays and if they still have any relevance.
This piece is made with the basis of ‘citizens of Calais’ Rodin to collaborate with present artist Ji Yeon Jang .
The’ citizens of Calais’ is story of six riches from France Calais. They defended rich’s spiritual that rescued thousands of citizens with their own sacrifice.
My Noblesse Oblige 2012 asks for reinterpretation and re-illumination of it’s meaning from contemporary people who have the vested rights.
In other words, I want those who called as contemporary society’s rich people to realize the spiritual of Noblesse Oblige. Also, I would like to see them with real rich spirit and want them to find lost pure mind.
This piece opens up with the rich representatives who walk in front to receive death. But as time goes by, they struggle their sacrifice, walking on eggshells and turn away from death.
In the middle, the clothes with luxury brand’s logo turn out to show the contemporary rich people. This is not meant to belittle the luxury brands. The artist I, personally also likes these brands. Usually these luxury brands are born with master artisan’s hands of efforts. Each of product contains it’s story and spirit.
As so, I like these brands and respect them since I’m also one of a kind who makes the pieces. However, I ask contemporary man to conciliate towards these luxury brands who has wrong ideas.
They believe there is no value to products that are over popular. They buy those brand’s items since other people have it.
Also, they think those items express their position and authority. I want these people to avoid those young minds and actions towards luxury brands. The luxury brand’s meaning in the piece means the latter one.
I recommend conciliation to a lot of contemporary people through this piece. I am not willing a criticism.
Nonetheless, I want you to think of what is the most important thing now, how to live well as one of contemporary man in this society and to find believing and trusting what you think gives a right value to you.