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The Paper Bag


The idea of this artwork is coming from my subjective experience about the phenomenon of the Eid Mubarak holiday. I observed how people at the shopping centers suddenly pile up into the ocean of people. All consumers flocked to various stores. Discount offers and beautiful products are displayed in a glass display case to attract consumers into buying, even when they have to use credit cards (indebted). Isn’t it the fundamental nature of Ramadhan (Fasting month before Eid Mubarak) is supposed to hold back the human desires?

Consumer behavior today is inseparable from the development of the capitalist culture, which puts consumption as the center point of life in the social fabric of Indonesian society. Capitalism is an economic system that regulates the process of production and distribution of goods and services. The development of advanced capitalism since the 1920s shows a dramatic shift in the character of production and consumption in the consumer society. If in the era of early capitalism, production became the dominant factor that built the market of competitive capitalism, then the era of advanced capitalism, consumption is the determinant of capitalist markets which also changed into monopoly. Since the 1960s, the dominant position of the consumption factor has been not only in the economic area. More than previous eras, consumption now becomes the ultimate motivator and driver of social reality, culture and even politics (Kellner, 1994: 3).

Society is no longer dominated by the process of production, but by media and cybernetics. Instead of material objects, media and cybernetic models produce symbols, or something non-material that dominates the world today. The primary function of consumer objects is not their usefulness or the benefit of the goods, but rather the value-sign function and symbolic values that are disseminated through various media lifestyle advertisements. What people buy is nothing more than signs embedded into commodities or consumer objects. The theme of lifestyle, status, prestige, class, and honor are the meanings implanted into the commodity or the object of consumption. Consumption objects have now transformed into a set of status, class, prestige and identity classification systems. In the end, what the society consumes is the value of the symbol (social status, prestige), which indirectly will make the society trapped inside the loop, because consumption symbol’s values will only become a repetitive desire.

In the selection of materials is very important because the material has its own text strength. The background of aluminum metal selection of my work certainly correlates with the content I discuss. Aluminum is becoming a daily material and various commodities using such metals such as food, beverages and some other products. In this regard, aluminum is highly conditional on commercial practices. In addition, I also want to present a light and shiny visual as a symbol of superficiality (looks luxurious on the surface, but it contains nothing / empty).

I combine two different realities to present a new text. Firstly, I present the shape of Paper Bag, in the hope that the form can represent the momentum of Eid Mubarak. The Paper Bag shape that I present in the new image is as a commodity symbol. Then I present aluminum as a medium symbol of luxury (shiny). Both of these realities eventually become a new reality where the consumer society will always consume the prestige value of a commodity without thinking about the importance of value for use.
  • Category : SCULPTURE
  • Year : 2016
  • Total Edition No : 1
  • Size : 5(W) x 30(H) x 17(D) cm
  • Materials : Aluminum
  • Method of packing : Ships in a BOX
  • Posting : 2017. 07. 04


Share your thoughts


2017. 08. 16

Joomi Lee

The symbolic style is expressed mostly through its poetic content and dreamy atmosphere.
2017. 07. 05