Wood, steel wire, spray paint, nuts and bolts, ribbon, blue foam, acrylic sheet, 30″x30″x40″
As a foreigner, I have my native language. When I think of something to say in English, it takes me some processing before I say it out loud because I first need to convert the language in my mind. There are numerous times when I’ve found myself in an uncomfortable predicament because the tendency in the dominant culture encourages one to “speak up” and share often.
It seems in the Western culture, extroverts are more rewarded and praised than the introverts. A narrative such as, those that speak up are those that have an opinion and therefore have a thought, seems to be embedded in the status quo. But I’ve become weary to such one way thinking because in many cases it manifests premature thoughts irresponsibly getting thrown around in the room.
Where I’m from, those who speak up too quickly are chattery and seen mindless, as in, shallow thinkers are the ones that tend to “speak up” throwing around pretentious keywords. To give an example which happens at a work place setting, the loud mouths are the ones that usually stop their hands because they are too busy with speaking up and sharing opinions. The quiet ones, on the other hand, deliver the goods, which seems much cooler to me.
Strangely, I was never labeled an introvert, but that changed when I came to the United States. To be clear, I still don’t consider myself an introvert, but because I process my thoughts before uttering, I often lose the timing or the window of opportunity to “speak up”, and that might come across as being introverted. People might see me as a reserved person or a person that “does not have a thought”. But I’d like to say this to the person who passes such judgement on me, just because I don’t speak up, it doesn’t mean that I am a mindless person.
This art piece is a counterargument to those who overly praise extroverted behaviors, and it is a critique of such social tendency.