Seshyoumaru – We Are the World
600 x 200 x 100 cm
Black steel, acrylic and fish hooks
The artwork takes inspiration from Seshyoumaru, an anime character who left a strong impression on the artist. Seshyoumaru was a huge, hot-blooded demon, with a strong dislike for other living beings. However, after Seshyoumaru was helped by a human he showed mercy and compassion. In the show’s narrative, the demons could always overpower humanity. However, in reality, the opposite is true. Animal populations are subject to our will.
The English name of the artwork ‘We Are The World’ comes from the Michael Jackson’s song. The original purpose of the song was to raise funds for famine victims in Africa. The artist believes that human beings can once again connect with each other in an attempt to rescue and protect sharks – which would be an act of self-preservation as well.
The artist uses contemporary Chinese ink painting to reflect upon society and to represent the renewal of traditions. For this series, the artist used black ink to paint the sea, which is contrary to humanity’s desire for a clear blue ocean. This might be a prediction of the future, where clear seas are replaced with this dark alternative.
Born in 1986 in YanTai in the Shandong province, Yang Kai graduated from the University for the Creative Arts (UK, Kent Institute of Art & Design). His artistic style is characterised by the use of ink and water, and his practice of combining traditional Chinese references with contemporary themes and subject matters. He is currently emerging as one of China’s most significant contemporary artists.