We all know the phrase:
“Two sides of the same coin”
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”
…and the word (and the person):
…and, possibly the less common:
….duality and opposites are common and have been a balance in many cultures. Other choices are surely available, but our brain, its left and right sides, rarely allow (any) other. It’s either War or Peace and…
Left and Right
Ugly and Beautiful
Smart and Stupid
Right and Wrong
Happy and Sad
Good and Bad
Big and Small
Hot and Cold
Back and Forth
Hard and Soft
Strong and Weak
Square and Round
Black and White
Yin and Yang
Female and Male
Boy and Girl
Man and Woman
…and, for our times, the inelegant:
Digital and Analogue.
These words and phrases offer a face, and another face. They offer an image and then a flipside to a situation, a description of a place, an incident, or a person being discussed or mentioned behind a veiled hand.
…and in David Boyce’s On the Shoulders of Giants photographs, despite his schizoid presentation, an almost duplicity, there is a constant: himself.
His idea is simple: David’s finished photographs combine images and self-portraits of well-known artists with an image of himself. We don’t quite know which artists as David merely gives us a long general list. But that is a perfect deception, isn’t it? It offers conjecture.
…and we know words denoting an action (“for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”); types of behaviour or emotion:
…David: himself and another. Together. The duplicity is complete.
John Batten has lived in Hong Kong for a long time and writes about art, culture and urban planning and is a regular contributor to the South China Morning Post and Perspective architectural magazine.