“Why are love and control easily confused? How can visual elements express the pain in an intimate relationship?”
The intimate relationship between lovers is usually beautiful, which people yearn for very much.
Tianyao Wang’s Love or Control? explores the controlling behavior which can occur in seemingly good intimate relationships: verbal violence, physical violence, indifference, belittlement, lies and even praise. Women account for 94% of young people who abused in intimate relationships.
Wang says “Control is not an act of love, but an act of fear. Many people confuse control with love. They think that control exists with love because they love each other, and the controlled will be bound by this so-called love. My work aims to help people in such relationships realise the danger and pain they are in and help them to make change by leaving such relationships”.
The work is deliberately both beautiful and dangerous. The materials used draw us in, but are double edged: sugar (sweet and enticing yet fragile and easily damaged) and lipstick (intimate, yet leaving marks). Likewise, the shapes Wang has crafted – roses, ears, mouth, fingers and tears – express the intimacy of a relationship, but also reflect control and pressure. These are things that are easily bruised and easily marked.