When did the Merlion become extinct? – The Narrative to Succeed in the 21st Century, 2019–20
Lecture performances, video, installations, documents
40 min; variable dimensions
Courtesy of the artist
When did the Merlion become extinct? — The Narrative to Succeed in the 21st Century explains how to achieve success through self-management. The rise of Success Studies as a social trend in Asia was almost synchronized with its economic development. The similarities between the concept of “personal success studies” and “national success studies” does not only offer a single interpretation of “success,” but also generates a common rhetoric. In such a narrative, the systematically defined “democracy” replaces other substantive pursuits in democratization movements. By questioning how such narratives build individual and collective values, the artist also tries to respond to why democracy in Asia has been left unfinished. In the narrative performances, the artist imitates the lecturer of Success Studies and their teaching method, and defines the success studies that are needed in the twenty-first century as the “narratives of national success.” The performances are edited and posted on YouTube to intervene cyberspace. Thus, the video about the narrative performances becomes similar to an event in terms of circulation.