In China, there's a culture of intense competition, achievement, and hard work. My work explores a term called "involution," which has been widely used since 2021 in China to describe that cultural phenomenon. More specifically, "Involution" refers to the irrational and sometimes involuntary internal competition for limited resources or meeting high expectations, as well as a feeling of burnout.
The painting explores the social phenomenon of "involution" and its adverse impacts on people's physical and mental wellbeing, examining three age groups affected by this phenomenon, from kids in kindergarten to working adults. I merged my subjects into the dark part of a distorted Yin & Yang pattern, symbolizing how this way of studying or working disrupts balance.