Step Off！ What am I doing now? Do I have nothing else to do? “It's My Time” No! This time I will challenge myself to fight against materials and to examine how sick I am in the aesthetic trend promoted by capitalism.
I have realized that I am one of the perfect examples of those kids being nicely educated and socialized, following not only the rules decided by school and teachers but also the popular trends in the world. I like everything the world likes, and when I fail to reach my goals, I feel like a loser. The so-called “perfect body figure with slim slender curve” is the main reason to kill my confidence. Looking at the frustrating numbers about my figure, I have to improve them.
I was sick, sick with an obsession to thinness. I could not help but keep thinking that my life sucked and I hated myself without any reason simply because I was fat. I hated my greasy fat and I was helpless about it. I felt that I was pushed toward a cliff, and that was moment when I began to take revenge on my greedy body by forcing myself to throw up the food I took. I used to think of myself as a healthy, happy, and positive person who had always been optimistic with my dreams, and it had never occurred to me that I would suffer from eating disorders. However, the lust for delicious food made my appetite increase and I gradually lost control of it. At first I did not take it seriously, but later I started to release my sense of guilt by throwing up the food I took after fasting. Meanwhile, my throat also gradually became more and more accustomed to my digging fingers, so I had to dig deeper until I felt nausea and painfully threw up everything into the toilet, flushing down the food in my stomach as well as the guilt in my heart.
Perhaps forced vomit has its dark side, but I try to convince myself and others that forced vomit is an “artwork” or “performance art” in order to validate it as a legitimate way to lose weight. Step Off, It's My Time is my defense for forced vomit which has been rejected by the society’s moral standard. Since art is comprehensive, it makes “forced vomit” sacred and saves it from being condensed by the society. Through the process of eating and vomiting, I am allowed to enjoy the delicious food while I can also throw up the guilt before the unwelcomed calories are digested. Indeed, forced vomit brings me discomfort, but I feel extremely released and overjoyed when I imagine the food in my stomach turning into disgusting vomit instead of my body fat.
The making of the work has been scheduled and planned in advance. I photographed the food I had eaten three meals a day between 14 August and 20 Aug 2001, the vomit, and my body throughout the seven days to demonstrate the differences. Meanwhile, I wrote down all the detailed information about the food and my body measurements. The 35 photos look like the pictures of tasty food as shown in recipes. About a half of them are real food indeed, but the other half are the vomit disguised as soup-like delicacies. At the first glance, the artwork attracts people’s attention to savor the beautiful woman and beautiful food in the images with their hungry gaze, but once they notice that there is something different about the soup and realize it is the spewed, their hunger is soon replaced by disgust. The changes of feelings through visual experiences suggest a self-accusation: “the beautiful appearance is often a disguise for something we do not know – it can be beautiful or ugly.” Media broadcasts images of beautiful women or other beautiful things 24 hours a day, trying to convince us that we live in a perfect and flawless world. However, we choose to deceive or comfort us with the beautiful things in front of our eyes and ignore the truth hidden behind. Perhaps the differences are real, perhaps I should take a closer look to fight back as I am busy at pursuing the “perfect figure,” or perhaps I should find enjoyment in my obsession?
No matter what, in spite of my unshakable will power to lose weight, the irresistible temptation of food commercials, and the countless failures, I have decided to yell at the society which is almost schizophrenic for its diversity: “Fuck! Fuck you! What am I doing? Do I have nothing else to do that I have to start a war against my fat cells and pituitary gland which controls my appetite, to lose weight?” Meanwhile, I feel like a log floating in the ocean and whisper to myself in a weak voice: “Come, come my way! This time I will challenge myself to fight against the material temptation and examine how sick I am in the aesthetic trend promoted by capitalism.”