Libido refers to a person’s primitive and intuitive biological urges contained in what Freud called the id. Some of the subconscious desires unfulfilled during one’s childhood are compensated through games or other methods as a means of consolation. While a person’s desire intensifies as one grows older, the need to fit in, to meet the expectations of the society, and to conform to ethics and religion often suppress the opportunity to act on one’s desires. Artists, through their self-exploration, highlight libido in a way which forces viewers to look within themselves for introspection, while sublimating their desires to a whole new level. Chinese contemporary artist Zhou Chunya gives a truthful portrayal of the libido of grown men through the pompousness, clumsiness, and growling faces of the “green dog”, manifesting the restraint as well as the liberation of the libido. Spanish designer Jaime Hayon, on the other hand, thinks outside the box with his bold style and unique works. His freewheeling dream-like, yet realistic style paints the true face of one’s libido as a child.
Two artists in different fields use their own symbols to explore human desire by crossing disciplines and boundaries. They also allow their wild wishes and passions to run wild and free. ALIVE AND KICKING is a piece of creation that delves into the transformation and evolution of libido through the growth of mentality. It goes beyond personal experiences and specific cultural conditions— it is a generic image of humans. Violence, sexuality, playfulness, and fantasy are all real pieces of human nature. Zhou Chunya and Jaime Hayon confront their instinctual impulses and desires, adding elements of contemporary design and thoughts into artistic creations through their own interpretations, leading viewers to watch and contemplate honestly. Through these creations, human nature and values of life are visualized. The explosive force of life demonstrates itself and resonates in a collective context, becoming an optimistic wish in reality.