Spending for 5 years to make, Chou and his teammates created Animal Farm, a very different extensive project. Before finishing the serie Animal Farm, part of the works have already been exhibiting in 2014 Taipei Biennial and Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei in 2015.
Animal Farm presents 3 different major social structures: the structure of Body Existence, the structure of Life Boundary, and the structure of the Social Environmental Frame. These themes let the audience rethink the situation which we are living in, a situation from we can’t escape.
Chou and his teammates spent 5 years to plan and do the project, Animal Farm. Chou had to find as much resources and manpower as for a movie production. This project involved an incredible amount of task including equipment obtainment or fundraising. The artist and his wife also had to mortgage their house. The shooting of this project took place in Hsinchu Zoo and Shou Shan Zoo in Taiwan, which have a very intimate relationship with the idea of the project. Zoo is a space full of imagination and conflict. It symbolizes joy (for visitors), yet it also symbolizes confinement and segregation (for animals). It symbolizes the convenience and marvels of modern life (a collection of rare animals from all over the world), and it also suggests a hint of the apocalyptic salvation of Noah’s Ark (protecting species on the verge of extinction).
Chou’s project is inspired by a novella Animal Farm by an English novelist, George Orwell. The plot of the novella describes the animals, which lives in the farm overthrowing the high-handed governance of their owner. Though the animals became the new leader of the farm, they returned living under the high-handed governance of their own eventually. The story of the novella and the condition of living inside a zoo is not much different, which the animals both cannot escape living in a cycle. For us, the thing fencing our living is not about the cage and the enclosure, instead it is the social norm and system.
Animal Farm is full of fancy and realistic theater scenes, includes a lot of symbols, matching a familiar interior space with an artificial environment of the zoo, describes “the society is as a cage, where we are jeering at the people living in there”. Animal Farm was shoot by a full-focus camera allowing the audience to clearly see things happening in every corner of the photos and gaining the same feeling with Chou.
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