Sugar-Coated Values

Installation/Video

2.8m tall

2018

(This video is a documentation of the work.)

Inspired by the 2011 news of a two-year-old girl who had been run over several times by cars without anyone coming forward to help, which was but one example of people’s moral decay, especially in urban settings, in the increasingly market-driven China. 

 

The government soon introduced a 12-word Socialist Core Values, urging citizens to behave according to the moral codes. I made the 12 words out of caramel and stick them onto the wall. The letters melted along with the temperature rise. In the end, the letters lost their shapes, featuring a certain degree of illegibility.

 

The title of this work came from a famous phrase "sugarcoated bullets" from Mao Zedong in 1949. It refers to a psychological strategy: an offensive means that is cleverly disguised to make people happily accept. I found this sarcastic since the Core Socialist Values were promoted during the moral crisis in China in 2012.