Invisible Hands/ Visible Hands – 2017

Invisible Hands/ Visible Hands, 2017, performance on recorded video, 1 minute 21 seconds

I borrow the metaphor “invisible hands” of the unobservable market force that was used by Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations and make it a metaphor for the invisible ideologies that encourage women to conform their appearances with the ideal beauty in consumerism and marketing, from advertisements in TV to posters in elevators of apartments and shopping malls in China (mainland). The invisible hands (ideologies) become the visible hands (women’s hands and surgeon’s hands or anyone’s hands) that physically change women’s appearances. The invisible socialized ideas of female beauty become visible impulse upon to change women’s bodies.

In this video, I merge three layers of the faces into one screen. One layer is the ideal beautiful face, one is the suffering face, and the third one is the face after a failure cosmetic surgery. I performed as a woman who is trying to fit different faces, from the face that is more closed to the standard of female beauty accepted by society, through the suffering on the procedure of cosmetic surgeries, to the horror face that caused by failure cosmetic therapies to lose their personal traits.This work explores gender identity and ideologies, specifically the relationship between the representation of women and the ideologies to understand the power of ideal beauty and the language around feminism and femininity.

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