DOKU Animal, 2022
from the series DOKU Six Realms of Reincarnation
|Dimensions||150 x 97.5 x 5 cm|
|Copyright||Courtesy the artist and Société, Berlin|
DOKU Animal is at once naive and complex. This incarnation of LuYang, with its ear cap and boots made of fake fur, is less reminiscent of a deity or a superhero than of a cos player. Or the “Harajuku style” influenced by manga, goth, techno and Lolita fashion, which originated in the boutique district of the same name in Tokyo and conquered the world in the 1990s and early 2000s. But DOKU Animal does not dance in a teen show or at a techno rave or sporting event. Rather, the avatar appears in a kind of medical laboratory, which is simultaneously an abattoir, a gym for animals, and Noah’s Ark. It also refers to our ambivalent relationship to animals, to our compulsion to optimize and market not only ourselves, but everything around us. Of course, it also alludes to the suffering of animals, which continues to increase in unimaginable proportions in the ever more highly industrialized world. In Samsara, rebirth as an animal stands for instinct, ignorance, the blind drive for self-preservation. Animals, like humans, also have a Buddha nature. But they are incapable of recognizing it. They always remain hunter or prey and thus cannot escape the cycle of eating and being eaten.