SOME MIGHT REMEMBER Jaxton Su’s Animal Apparels, an engaging art installation that used animal metaphors and their association with genders as the main topic. This mixed media installation was exhibited at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), School of Art, Design and Media (ADM). When further probed about the research process of Animal Apparels, Jaxton revealed his realisation that most animal metaphors have sexist connotations, often putting the female gender in a negative light while glorifying the males.
Animal Apparels essentially depict animal metaphors that can be physically worn by the two genders. Each apparel and their designated metaphors are labelled with a price tag to accentuate the fact that all humans are victims of societal stereotypes. More often than not, there is a rampant use of animal metaphors to label people. Jaxton had hoped that the installation would make people question the validity of such metaphors through the whimsical and ridiculous mannequin displays.
The result of this interactive installation was incredibly encouraging as many of the attendees were seen playing with the paper dolls and dressing them up with the animal-emblazoned apparels. Jaxton took the interaction as a sign of success as he feels that they had understood the meaning behind his work.
“I would like my works to have a psychological impact to the audience, be it sparking an imagination or encouraging them to think about a particular message.”
Besides installations, Jaxton also takes pleasure in still-life paintings. His chosen painting technique? Oil painting. “I like how versatile it is, including the fact that it does not dry fast makes it more possible to experiment with it,” Jaxton explained. Setting aside his love for oil-painting, Jaxton also emphasized on his fascination with nature. “Simple things such as ripple patterns, shapes of clouds and light reflections could spark my imagination,” he added.
Among Jaxton’s still life paintings, Nature | Man is one of his works where he feels that the relationship between nature (the non-built, non-synthetic environment) and man in contemporary Singapore is explored and questioned. The estrangement between mankind and nature is a “serious and complex issue” today. In fact, this alienation effect is termed by scientists as a “nature deficit disorder.” As a result, Jaxton shares that the aim of Nature | Man is to prompt Singaporeans to reflect and ponder upon their stranded ties with nature and encourage them to formulate a connection with the natural world.
Jaxton’s creative process towards Nature | Man is of an intimate affair. He explored the topic at a very personal level, including drawing sketches of his feelings towards nature and life. As an artist who bases his work on emotional connection with the audience, his sketches often appear surrealistic and symbolic.
With a burning passion in fine art and illustration, Jaxton wishes to be an all-rounded art practitioner in Singapore by taking creative risks and improving the aesthetic quality of his work. Jaxton is currently pre-occupied with planning an art exhibition with few other artists and hopes that it would be smoothly executed by March next year.