Saturday, September 05, 2009

"Haven't we all become like these in our modern urban society?"

mannequins, cold, false fronts, in disguise, unreal, numb, and compromising.

In relation to a post by currypuff (click here) which was earlier inspired by my mannequin shot, I must say his shot really haunted me for a day or two. And coincidentally yesterday, I was in an area surrounded by mannequins "staring" at me. This made me go out and do this series of shots as a study of the stark contrast between rural and urban society.

Earlier on this year, I had the opportunity to stay overnight with the Orang Asli in Malaysia. In that stay, I experienced what it means to have no television, no computer, just pure communication between human beings. If you ask them, "how do you all survive? what do you do to earn a living?" They don't understand you. They are self-sufficient. They eat from the land God has given. They take almost everything from nature. And their favourite past-time? Communication. They talk to each other heart to heart. That's what they do.

In our modern urban society, our eyes are either glued to the television or the computer screen most of the time. We no longer communicate. We make friends based on commercial benefits, or other benefits, never because we sincerely want to know a person. We have since lost the skills to communicate, even if it's just talking about ourselves, our problems and struggles. And probably even if we want to talk about it, no one wants to listen anyway. So, when things get too messed up, we jump off the roof killing ourselves, thinking that should end our misery. In actual fact, that selfish act of suicide just started a string of miseries for others.

Having had so much education from schools, colleges and universities, we can't even communicate like the Orang Asli. We don't even care for another human being anymore? Look next to you, when was the last time you truly have a heart-to-heart talk with your spouse, your family members or your friends? "Oh so sorry... no time... our t.v. programmes or work are more important."

The mannequins above truly speaks of us. Cold, false fronts, in disguise, unreal, numb, and compromising. Compromising because we have eyes but don't see, ears but refuse to hear, mouth but refuse to speak.

Compromising also because we allow others to put whatever clothes that's of the latest trend in the world on us. We follow the world in doing whatever it's doing without thinking whether it's really right or wrong. We have no conscience!

Some questions:
1. If we see a suspicious guy entering a neighbour's house, will you call your neighbour or the police?
2. If we see someone lying to his clients about himself as a form of marketing, do we do it too?
3. If we see someone spitting on the floor, do we follow?

Lastly, are we more concerned of how much we can take from the world today, or rather how much and what we are leaving behind for the world if we die? Let's try to leave the world a better place than we have entered.