Chaoxian (Chuck) Wang
graphic/ interaction designer. I have worked at Design 360° and BranD magazine.
By deconstructing the definition of masculinity, I put forward the concept of postmodern masculinity. Postmodern masculinity advocates diversified masculinity so that everyone can describe this. Showing this concept from the perspective of pataphysics can expand the definition of masculinity and break the severe and heavy image of the topic of masculinity. This project reflects on the shortcomings of traditional masculinity in a patriarchal society and explores how people face masculinity in the new era.
What makes men feel masculine? Through interviewing people with this question and recurring scenes, I realised that traditional masculine is a framework under the patriarchal society, and many things have a standard that meets masculine, whether it is physiologically. It's still social. Many men also subconsciously regulate their behaviour to meet standards. But I think it shouldn't be like this, so I put forward postmodern masculinity.
Then, I did two experiments to express traditional masculinity and postmodern masculinity. One uses a ruler and clay to make a brick continuously; the other shows different forms of non-Newtonian fluid through interaction with oobleck. The various forms of Oobleck are just as I want to express. Postmodern masculinity should be diverse and changeable.
This reminds me of pataphysics. Pataphysics will examine the laws governing exceptions and explain the universe supplementary to this one.-Alfred Jarry. If we use the theory of pataphysics to discuss masculinity, then postmodern masculinity supplements traditional masculinity. I took this as a breakthrough for the project and made the following outcome.
In this performance, I extracted the traditional masculinity requirements for men, such as restraining emotion, reason, strength, and not being sissy. Let everyone associate and reflect on the logic behind traditional masculinity through life behaviours that have nothing to do with masculinity, and break down the criteria for judging masculinity. These behaviours may also be manifested by postmodern masculinity. Because postmodern masculinity promotes diversity and tolerance, everyone can get rid of the game’s rules set by those in power and then find a way to express themselves.
I hope that through this format, the definition of masculinity will be expanded, and the severe image of masculinity will be broken. The topic becomes relaxed, more people will participate in the discussion, and more new opinions will emerge. Reflect on the disadvantages of traditional masculinity and explore how men face masculinity in the new era. Only this can make everyone better and bring benefits to life.