Poesy Liang debuted at Art Stage Singapore
Malaysian-Taiwanese artist Poesy Liang’s social message titled Poesy Empathy – Hidden Messages sheds light on blindness empathy
Poesy Liang, an interdisciplinary artist that has championed many social awareness causes such as bald empathy and environmental activism, brought a new immersive installation to Art Stage Singapore 2018. Entitled ‘Poesy Empathy: Hidden Messages’, the installation allowed visitors to experience varied curated media by Poesy and her team in partial blindness.
Poesy’s artist statement, “to raise (CKE) compassion, kindness & empathy by media reform”, was seen in the installations’ walk through with elements of social media, blockchain, anime, cosplay, and choral speaking, using what the artist perceives as universally accessible forms of childhood nostalgia. The installation was deliberately masked by a misleading facade of whimsical artwork, with floor coverings of 42 QR codes that visitors on her queue could scan to keep themselves occupied with digital contents.
It is easy to assume that Poesy’s installation is purely intended to enlighten the masses of the struggles of being visually impaired. However, Poesy believes that “everyone has something that they are good at” and that “some people have extraordinary abilities but don’t know it, while some able-bodied people have emotional/mental disabilities and don’t know it either.” Hence, her installation primarily contested the perception of what it means to be disadvantaged, and to question how people make tend to make judgments of disabled people at face value.
There were 10 members in the Poesy Empathy team at Art Stage 2018 (including the artist and a dog), 6 members of the Poesy Empathy production were blind or visually impaired. “It was a mad rush to get the blind team together”, noted Lee Lee, the blind trainer of Poesy Empathy guide team. “I am very happy that Poesy has chosen this topic which will help the blind community in Singapore, and at large. Empathy is what the world needs.”
Poesy further cultivated conversation by employing the guide dog, Nice, one of her collaborators to sit at the front of the booth, by the sale of her illustrated books. Nice was surrounded with clear ‘DO NOT PAT DOG ON DUTY’ signs,making a point about the masses’ lack of awareness for the role a guide dog plays, and how the lesser informed passer-by often distracts them without understanding their duty.
Lorenzo Rudolf, founder of Art Stage, lauded Poesy for “her artistic and social engagements”, citing her conceptual way of thinking and working as the reason why he invited her to show at the art fair. Dr. Uli Sigg, owner of the Sigg Collection of contemporary Chinese art, also noted that “Poesy is persuasive with her self-narration and tells a powerful story to offer the world a message of healing.”
More information at poesyliang.com.