Made in China questions the mercantile and disposable paradigm of objects in conflict with cultural identities. The body of work produced for this project inquires about the wide effects of consumerism and mass production and comments on the loss of cultural identity of indigenous communities from different parts of the world in the hands of ethnocentrism, globalization and industrialization.
This global problem supported by us (consumers), besides devastating the environment, affects everyone but mostly minorities who have been maintaining the cultural heritage and diversity of the world alive.
屁 is for دۇئا but also for ئولجى / P is for Duya but also for Yolji
“P is for Pray but also for Prey”
艾娜 is for جامان تۉش / N is for Jaman tüş
“N is for Nightmare”
Made in China started as an ongoing project of handmade Molas, which are unique hand sewn illustrated fiber art pieces made by the Guna women from Colombia and Panamá, their Molas show images of their cosmogony and are used as essential parts of the women's attire. My appropriation of Molas depict common consumer goods usually mass produced in China. This project intends to give awareness about mass production vs hand-made traditional crafts done by indigenous people from around the globe and the value given to fast-making and fast consuming goods vs the devaluation of tradition and environment caused by capitalism and consumerism.
“Thirst” is the first of my appropriations of a Mola, and it tells a story about the indigenous communities suffering because of lack of water and medical care among other basic needs. In Colombian Guajira, Wayuu children die every day of thirst and malnourishment, while civilized people focus on attaining stuff. Big companies arrive to Colombia offering money to white collars in order to obtain permits to drill ancestral lands that have been cared for by indigenous communities for centuries bringing drought to rivers, imbalance to full ecosystems and even killings to indigenous leaders and activists. All for money that will never replace the environmental nor cultural loss. Indigenous communities from around the globe take care of the planet better than modern individuals, but their human rights are violated too frequently.
|"美发产品 Měifǎ chǎnpǐn / Hair Products"|
"手机 Shǒujī / Smartphone"
"哆啦A梦新番 Duō lā A mèng xīn iifān /Doraemon"
|“ 迷宫 Mígōng / Mazej”|
The series Idols was inspired by Pre-hispanic cultures aesthetics and each of the pieces was done with mixed media over repurposed "made in China" toys and appliances that had been disposed by their owners. The finished figures are meant to appear as if they were done in rock which is an everlasting natural material but, the reality is that these idols are fragile and would be very easy to break, revealing the man-made items bellow. Each idol is named in Runasimi, also known as Quechua language which is one of the remaining indigenous languages still spoken in the Andes Mountains since pre colonial times. This series questions the idolatry for consuming and buying things that give us a momentary sense of support as well as bringing awareness of how culture and traditions are being replaced by ephemeral stuff.
"Álli wíyaqoq"(Repurposed toy speaker).
"Álli wíyaqoq" refers to a person that listens and obeys in Quechua.
In Quechua: Coworker.
Mixed media on repurposed toy laptop.
In Quechua: Jaguar.
Mixed media on repurposed manual chopper.
"Chíchu wármim tékan"
In Quechua: A pregnant woman is sitting.
Mixed media on repurposed teapot.
In Quechua: To trap, to capture to hold.
Mixed media on repurposed doughnut maker.
In Quechua: Transporter.
Mixed media on repurposed toy gum ball machine.