Through my art I has been investigating what it means to become a man, especially since confronted with my inability to protect my son, who was kidnapped in 1990.
The dark forces behind what is considered to be “manhood’s rite of passage” was also instilled within me by my military upbringing and its travesty and horror that is witnessed daily throughout the world by our autocratic governments and police forces.
Since March 2019 and the beginning of the protests for Democracy in Hong Kong the violence of the governmental police response has been overwhelmingly brutal. Students have been tortured, murdered, raped and disappeared without any repercussions for the perpetrators.
The Umbrella and Yellow Raincoat have become powerful symbols for the movement. The umbrellas have been effective for deflecting the tear gas canisters and the Yellow Raincoat was worn by a young protestor thrown to his death from the upper levels of a parking garage.
Add all of this to our current regime putting children in cages at the border, separating them permanently from their families or leaving them to die of disease and neglect.
Our American “manhood coming of age rituals” involve too many poseurs with guns, power and no morals or ethics