The Denial of Denying


–by Tai Yik Long

Artist Biography

Tai Yik Long was born in 1998 in Hong Kong. Throughout his childhood, he received art education in drawing. He also discovered his interest in crafting figures and models while he joined the visual art society in secondary school. To him, art is to give a perfect body and form of the artist’s thoughts. In his artwork, he would use different mediums to enhance the richness of his creation, as well as to convey message. Emotional songs are often his source of imagination. His work revolves around contemporary social phenomena and philosophy of life, and is influenced by Van Gogh.

Artist Statement

I sculpt to share my reflection on life. With the unlimited form that could be created by wires and papers, I would like to demonstrate my core value in art – “Transformation”. Just like a simple wire can be sculpted into complex art form, one’s seemingly plain life can also be transformed into a meaningful living. Everything is possible, the only thing matters is whether one is willing to begin his/her transformation or not.

This art piece is inspired by a song called “Brave” from Idina Menzel. In the song, it says, “And I might still cry, and I might still bleed, these thorns in my side … I can't be afraid, cause it's my turn to be brave.” It delivers the message that one should find courage despite the fact that the world is filled with desperate, since we are the master of our own fate. 

I use an iron wire hand, tied with a broken rope, which is holding a rose to illustrate the last part of Daniel’s story – the denial of denying pain. In my work, the hand is made to form a fist and hold the rose tightly. The fist symbolizes bravery and the rose with thorns shows that everyone’s dream is attractable, but its path is full of challenges. This action illustrates the bravery Danial gained (after his confrontation and acceptance to the fact that his addition to materials is detrimental and harmful) allows him to pursue his own dream despite the obstacles he would face. Here I not only depict his denial to prevent himself from avoiding pain and external threat anymore, but I also create a dichotomy between the two objects (i.e. fist and rose) in terms of their medium (i.e. iron and paper), indicating that Daniel has become invulnerable to those external threats and pain. Moreover, the broken rope tied to the hand implies that Daniel denies to stagnate in his previous condition and want to move on. This art piece delivers the main message of our group project – we shall not reject pain since pain is essential for us to grow and become stronger, so as to deal with the future challenges associated with our goals. 

Moreover, the red color tone, which symbolizes rejection, in my work reflects our theme. The red rose expresses the theme explicitly. On the other hand, the rope tied to the hand is burnt and broken by fire. Fire, in red, also serves to illustrate the theme implicitly.