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Artwork

The Toy that Went Free by Reason of Insanity.

The Toy that Went Free by Reason of Insanity.

Aiman Hakim
2011
80 cm (Diameter)
Oil on canvas
S$2800


The title is derived from a legal concept „by reason of insanity‟ which has been uncommonly used (even by the mentally sane) to win acquittals or for a chance at less severe convictions. However these defendants do so at the risk of being committed to treatment centres that have over the years, adopted a tougher release system. According to an interview by the Washington Post, Forensic psychiatrist Jonas Rappeport reasons,

“When you’ve got no better defence, that’s the way to go.”

The lesser of two evils, this notion relates to the idea of adaptability and cultural sacrifice with regards to appropriation. Controversial debates over cultural appropriation in the last few decades of 20th century have centered on the notions of dominance and subservience. Gordon (1964) provides an analytical and conceptual separation between acculturation and assimilation. He argues that acculturation, or cultural assimilation, is the minority group‟s adoption of the “cultural patterns” of the host society. This enables them to better navigate the “choppy waters” of their new host society, acquiring the cultural norms and values, sometimes, for the mere purpose of blending in with the majority.

The Toy That Went Free By Reason of Insanity examines that very notion of appropriation and assimilation through the act of play‟, using the distinctions of colours (red and grey soldiers) in representing different communities.

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