The Portrait of the Animals
Jiayi Song addresses the clash between culture, humanity and religion. Song subscribes to the idea of animalism and therianthropy, drawing in part on Chinese mythology. Animalism’s hallmark claim is that each of us is identical with a human animal, while theiranthropy refers to artistic descriptions of characters that simultaneously share human and animal traits. Song suggests that our social order/disorder and morality are also a function of our historical past and suggests that humanity and animalism are different sides of the same subject.
Song's works present the mixture of the oriental and occidental culture in history. The portraits of the animals make reference to an historical genealogy of life. Their costumes from the Ming Dynasty are references to the history of civilization and the animals' faces reflect the social disorder and moral judgement exercised in the present day due to our excessive yearning and desire.