2014 Best in Painting – Jean Lin

The Hands

The term ecology is brought to larger attention in the recent years, as the environmental issue became such a significant concern in the modern society. Since its existence, human has always been consuming the natural resources in the process of civilization. Of course, as an organism living on the earth, it is inevitable and rather natural that we consume natural resources as part of the life activity. However, the degree of natural environment being destroyed and consumed within the life activity of human during the recent years is surpassing the capacity of earth’s self-healing ability, and thus the environmental issue is becoming apparent year after year. When we say “environmental” issue, it is not only the matter of the environment and other animal species getting ruined, but it is also the matter that directly affects human lives since we are unquestionably part of the ecosystem, which makes us interrelated to all the living organism and nature on the earth.

That being said, there is an irony here; what human does as they strive to thrive is actually leading them into the danger and the possible fall. This painting depicts such irony upon the relationship between human and the environment; the hands peeling the earth represent the human force that tries to control and alter the nature by means of civilization and technology, yet the figures falling down into the trash can with the abandoned nature is also human itself. The fact that the hands peeling the earth is being the major emphasis in the painting both composition wise and lighting wise demonstrates how human tends to overlook the downside of their action thinking that they have the power and that they can control the world. In addition, the relationship between the hands and the earth is emphasized by the man-made, poisonous-looking red nail polish in contrast with the earth, representing the nature.  If we step aside from the human perspective, maybe human is the one that is unnecessary upon earth, and that the nature is moving toward the doomsday of the human being.