Cai Ruei-Heng (1989-)
“I once had a pet dachshund. Every time I see how it lives life, filled with food, sleep, and walks, I feel envious of its simple and carefree life.
After the dog left, apart from missing my dog, I started contemplating the difference between dogs and me. Why do Chinese-speaking people often say, ‘live like a dog,’ or ‘as tired as a dog?’ Perhaps dogs have thought about changing our control over them? How do they react and express themselves when I become their source of pressure?
On the one hand, I envy my pet dog for its simple lifestyle, but on the other hand, I realize that the lives of dogs are as trivial as human life, with routine walks and fixed routes, limited food options, or mating. When facing pressure from a superior source and their own inability of changing the situation, the dogs rebel against their ‘masters’ with certain ‘bad behaviors’ to release pressure. This empathy towards a dog’s life makes me realize its similarities with my experience of working in a factory. Faced with pressure and various demands that cannot be met, the anxiety and restlessness turn me into a plane that may crash at any minute. To eliminate this discomfort, I perform small acts of harmless rebellion and games within my factory of creativity, attempting to create fraction and chaos within the system through humor and self-deprecating jokes, despite the fact that these attempts are unable to create real change; the system is so massive, and the nuisances are too small. Led blindly by rules and regulations, these catharsis and trouble-making attempts within the system are so petty and incapable of creating real change.
The fact that I would like to become a dog is connected with the similarities between my situation and a dog’s; this is indeed a paradox! My identity is intertwined with a dog’s, but turning into a dog would not change anything. These awkward and messy situations make me create blurred images of dogs. These dogs resemble me; they resemble dogs, pigs, and human beings at the same time.” ── Cai Ruei-Heng
我想成為一隻狗這件事，和我覺得狗和我自身處境有著異曲同工，相互矛盾了吧。 我和狗的身分交織混雜，成為狗但好像又沒什麼改變。尷尬混亂的狀態讓我創作出模糊不清的狗型，長得像我，既是狗又像豬又像人的。」 ── 蔡瑞恒
壓克力顏料、日本水彩紙 acrylic on Japanese watercolor paper
77 x 54.5 cm
藝術家自藏 courtesy of the artist
壓克力顏料、畫布 acrylic on canvas
91 x 72.5 cm
私人收藏 private collection