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Luxury: Human Cubs

Thoughts on the Decline of Natural Fertility Rate

Research directions and objectives:Under Confucian cultures (mainly China, Japan, Korea), the decline in natural fertility has resulted in babies becoming a luxury.

Why are newborns such a rarity? What will the future hold for humanity? I thus intend to investigate the causes of the fall in natural fertility while promoting the Epicurean philosophy (hedonism).

Reason 1: The rise of feminism and the rise of feminist consciousness.

References:​Croll, E. (ed.) (no date) Feminism and Socialism in China

Reflection about references:explore the Feminism and Socialism in China.First published in 1978, Feminism and Socialism in China explores the inter-relationship of feminism and socialism and the contribution of each towards the redefinition of the role and status of women in China.  inter-relationship of feminism and socialism and the contribution of each towards the redefinition of the role and status of women in China. 

Exploring the relationship between feminism and socialism in China, and the history of feminist growth. It shows that with the rise of feminism in China, women have gradually become aware of their rights and will defend them through reasonable means, including reproductive rights.

Patriarchy has long been a factor in the growth of feminism.  Women have great expectations from society. For instance, guys are not required to follow certain regulations but ladies are.  Women's knowledge has increased, they are aware of their own life goals, and they reject the conventions of the "old society"

Reason 2: Some homosexuals are unable to marry and have children with girls because of their sexual orientation, so they aim to abuse women's right to reproduce and encourage them to do so. If they want to become parents, they must use surrogacy. Asian countries are unable to get universal access because of their economic and cultural limitations.

References:​Su, S. (no date) Fertility Views of Gay Men and Survey Report on Surrogate Pregnancy, ZHIHU. Edited by Q. Hai. gaysprit. Available at: (Accessed: December 23, 2022). 

VanderLaan, Doug P., Zachary H. Garfield, Melissa J. Garfield, Jean-Baptiste Leca, Paul L. Vasey, and Raymond B. Hames. 2014. The “female fertility–social stratification–hypergyny” hypothesis of male homosexual preference: factual, conceptual and methodological errors in Barthes et al. [Commentary]. Evolution and Human Behavior 35 (5):445-447.

​Reflection about references:I have always believed, from a purely subjective standpoint, that the prevalence of homosexuality lowers the natural reproduction rate of society. However, after more research, I discovered that this is not the case. Being a minority in society, homosexuality has little impact on heterosexuality's normal fertility rate. In other words, the natural fertility rate might rise if same-sex unions and assisted reproduction are legalised.

Reason 3:National policy. (China:1. One-child policy 2. Family planning Japan:1.Eugenics Protection Act 2.Maternal Protection Act  Korea:1.Family planning)

References:​​Qi, L. (2022) China tries to encourage births, but one-child policy entrenches, The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Available at: (Accessed: November 13, 2022). 

Hu, C. (no date) The Negative Effects of Family Planning Legal Policy,Negative impact of family planning laws and policies - Think Tank - China Reform Net. Available at: (Accessed: November 21, 2022). 

Why is the Japanese-style "family planning" never forgiven by the people? (no date) Japanese World Network - Information Details. Available at: (Accessed: November 15, 2022). 

(2018) South Korea's family planning policy. Available at: (Accessed: December 18, 2022). 

Reflection about references:According to the data, nations may adopt various fertility policies depending on how overpopulated they are at the moment, and these policies may have a direct bearing on the fertility rates of the populace. But after reading this material, one gets the impression that national policies' compulsion also lacks some degree of human care.













     China: Family Planning "Family Planning, Basic National Policy"(1982)                              Japan: Eugenic Protection Law(1948)


Reason 4:Parents' responsibilities1. Parents overly adore their children. 2. Many youngsters still feel like children when they grow up and become parents. 3. Adults act themselves like children. 3. Children spend too much time in the greenhouse without realising they are dying themselves or their parents are also dead.

References:​​KnowYourself (2022) My parents are like children: my parents are not mature enough,Available at: (Accessed: January 3, 2023). 


Reflection about references:It's a great read, this piece. It examines four categories of emotionally immature parents, as well as various kid types and approaches to raising them. What do emotionally mature individuals look like? I similarly applied these ideas to myself, considering my upbringing, and considering my parents' issues. It has been shown that parents have a significant impact on their offspring, including how they will turn out as adults. ​​

Reason 5:Economic pressure 1. Each nation only has a few  high-quality cities. Every one wants to visit a wonderful location. The stress of surviving, such as the cost of rent and salary, is too severe. 2. In accordance with the one-child policy, one kid must be maintained after reaching adulthood.







References:​​(1)​Liang, J. et al. (eds) (no date) Report on the cost of childbearing in China. rep. 

(2) Author, N. (2001) Raising child costs 63 million yen: Study, The Japan Times. Available at: (Accessed: January 15, 2023). 

(3)The high price of raising a well-educated child (2013) Korea joongAng Daily. Available at: (Accessed: November 16, 2022). 

(4)Lino, M. (2020) The cost of raising a child, USDA. Available at: (Accessed: November 18, 2022). 

(5)Ho, T. (2021) How much does it cost to raise a child in Singapore till age 18?, Available at: (Accessed: November 17, 2022). 

Reflection about references:Each country's policy on population also affects the birth rate of each family, including the government's welfare policy for families with babies. Government support can, to some extent, ease the financial pressure on families, but depending on the circumstances of each country, different policies for families with babies can also affect the birth rate. Similarly, the cost of raising a child varies from country to country, which can also affect the birth rate.

Reason 6:Discrimination against women within the Confucian cultural community (historical reasons) 1. Confucius never welcomed female followers, not just because he believed they were challenging to raise. Confucius alone, as a teacher, has a significant impact on subsequent generations of Confucian academics.)


References:​​Zhang, Z. (no date) Persecution of women by Confucian culture, Zhihu. Available at: (Accessed: November13, 2022). 

Gao, J. (no date) Female Tragedy Under the Influence of Confucian Culture--On the Three Heroines of "Bailuyuan", Feminine Tragedy Under the Influence of Confucian Culture--On the Three Heroines of "White Deer Plain" - Baidu Library. Changchun TV Station. Available at: (Accessed: November14, 2022). 




          Poster of Wihte deep plain, China

Reflection about references:

Patriarchy was a concomitant of class society and gave rise to different forms of oppression in subsequent historical forms.


In "White Deer Plain," women are mostly described as giving birth, spinning, cooking, and caring for their husbands and in-laws. The majority of them have unfortunate conclusions and are only covered briefly. 


Bai Ling and Tian Xiaoe are "White Deer Plain's" two most striking characters. Characters with diverse personalities but similar souls include Bai Ling and Tian Xiaoe. 


Bai Ling is a sober, independent, and aggressive girl who has been schooled in new concepts and dares to explore free love. She was born in accordance with her family's expectations. 


Tian Xiao'e is a young woman who just longs for love. She was born into a wealthy family of scholars but was taken in by Guo Juren as a concubine. She is courageous enough to oppose the patriarchal, feudal society. She made the decision to seek revenge against Lu Zilin by dressing as a harlot to seduce Bai Xiaowen in order to turn him into a degenerate, and was ultimately slain by Gong Lusan. She is a courageous and disobedient young woman who dared to confront the preconceptions of the feudal culture in a patriarchal society that has lasted for hundreds of years. Instead, her boldness has taken on an ironic quality. The patriarchy in her neighbourhood oppresses the women. She is an outcast who is destined to fail. 

In general, the period in which the ladies in this drama lived was a very feudal one in which males were considered superior to women and the restraints placed on them all showed the influence of Confucian culture. ​

I believe there are several causes for the fall in natural fertility in general. Although I believe this theme to be useful and significant, I also believe it to be too broad, thus I believe I should first select a cause to do study and develop in order to consider the viability of my own works. 


M​ETRO,January 18,2023

The discussion of parental effect on children progresses to the reasons why individuals choose not to have children, which causes fertility to fall and makes having a human baby a luxury.





Product usage:If the disease factors are ruled out and the baby is still crying and restless despite having consumed enough breast milk or milk powder, a pacifier can be used to soothe the baby's emotions and stop the crying. If the baby sleeps restlessly, you can also use a comfort pacifier to help your baby fall asleep. 


For me, the existence of pacifiers makes them incredibly iconic items. Thumb sucking was one of my childhood favourites. My thumb was occasionally sucked and ripped off. This behaviour, in my opinion, is comparable to the use of a pacifier. I can feel at ease and safe with this activity. The pacifier caught my attention because of this sort of behaviour, and it also made me think of Andy Warhol, who has many symbolic pieces of art.

Additionally, Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans inspired me,  it changed the way I saw pacifiers. Humans consider the purpose of items' existence and how it relates to people when they experience the sensation of tension that regular, daily objects cause when they grow enormous. Whether there was a gigantic pacifier in a public area or pacifiers were screen printed in various colours, I thought it would be intriguing. 

Campbell's Soup Cans,Andy Warhol

colour pencil,crayon

Artist reflection

William Kentridge's works in RA inspired me a lot, William Kentridge is skilled in using paints and other materials (has gone to RA to visit exhibitions, record video materials, and take photos). Etching, painting, collage, video, sculpture, tapestry, opera, dance, and music are all a part of internationally renowned artist Kentridge's oeuvre.

His artwork challenged my preexisting professional cognition and got me to consider the variety of drawing medium while attempting to disrupt the traditional usage of drawing media. I made two journeys to and from RA for photography and videography in addition to conducting my study on Kentrige online.

There are chambers filled with 4 m wide tapestries, his distinctive charcoal trees and flowers, and the magnificent Notes to a Mannequin Opera on three screens. Watch typewriters transform into trees, a rhino doing backflips while wielding a megaphone, and coffee plungers diving into a gold mine.

I was contemplating Kentride's research techniques while I viewed his works. I discovered that in some of his works, he looked into the cultures of other nations, such as the Chinese Red Army's image, before combining it with ballet to produce art. I was astonished, but I had to give him credit. It turns out that the blending of artistic creations is capable of being so cleverly merged.

Is there a necessity for cultural fusion in the production of my later works, then? Is it necessary to rebuild current cultural art forms? For me, Kentrige's perspective and motivation come from this. Since I first encountered painting, Kentrige is also the first artist to employ charcoal pens to convey such life and intriguing works. He is really interested in the black-and-white imagery I utilise to create my drawings.


Problems: In the unit1 stage, in addition to trying out drawing styles, I also need to find my own suitable style as much as possible. While this style suits me, I also hope that it can express emotions.

References:​​Zhang, Z. (no date) Persecution of women by Confucian culture, Zhihu. Available at: (Accessed: November13, 2022). 


William Kentridge's works in RA


Media thinking

Why use laser engraving to produce works?

Since I like to sketch more readily on an iPad, I also expect to have more media support throughout production to lessen the "electronic sense" of iPad drawing and increase the manual experience. Furthermore, the work is made more engaging and more in accordance with the creative vision of the topic by the woody scent the laser etching of the wood board produces.

Giant baby parents

The main core of the picture is to explain that although some parents are adults, they may also be children. Describe the phenomenon that parents lack sense of responsibility and experience in society.

The huge pacifier also symbolizes the parents of giant babies.


Giant baby parents

The main core of the picture is to explain that although some parents are adults, they may also be children. Describe the phenomenon that parents lack sense of responsibility and experience in society.

The huge pacifier also symbolizes the parents of giant babies.

References:​​Walker, S. (2023) Top 25 collage artists in the world: A complete survey - cai, Contemporary Art Issue - Platform, Publisher & Gallery on Contemporary Art. Available at: (Accessed: January 16, 2023). 

Craig, B. and Baker, J. (2008) Collage: Assembling contemporary art. London: Black Dog. 


Artist reflection

Käthe Kollwitz:

'Käthe Kollwitz was a German artist who worked with painting, printmaking (including etching, lithography and woodcuts) and sculpture. Her most famous art cycles, including The Weavers and The Peasant War, depict the effects of poverty, hunger and war on the working class.Despite the realism of her early works, her art is now more closely associated with Expressionism.'

I was first astonished when I first saw Käthe Kollwitz's artwork because I could clearly sense the feelings she depicted in it, especially in the piece Woman with Dead Child. Because of the way the picture and the characters' muscles were textured, I was able to sense the sorrow of a mother and kid being separated as well as the mother's intense love for her child. This work also served as an inspiration for how I shaped the characters' interactions and emotions.


After learning a lot about Käthe Kollwitz, I was motivated to consider the lives of women throughout that time period by her background and expressionist approach. They lived in Germany during a period when society thought that women should devote themselves to caring for children, cooking, and the church at a time when women were economically and politically marginalised. Then came expressionism, a modernist trend that first appeared in poetry and painting at the turn of the 20th century in Northern Europe. Its characteristic attribute is to only display the world from a subjective viewpoint, drastically altering it for emotional effect in order to arouse feelings or thoughts. Instead of emphasising physical truth, expressionist painters have attempted to convey the significance of emotional experience.

References:​​Expressionism (2023) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: (Accessed: January 16, 2023). 

Category:19th-century German women (2021) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: (Accessed: January 16, 2023). 

Woman with Dead Child, 1903 etching

Sketch reflection

Problems:When creating this work, I didn't spend a lot of time looking for the possibility of composition. I didn't start to think about whether there are more compositions until the final product was finished.

掌上明珠 zhǎng shàng míng zhū 

Idiom analysis:Chinese idiom, originally used as a metaphor for someone you love very much. Later, it is often used to refer to the daughter who is particularly loved by the parents.



Reasons why people don't feel like having children: One of them is that many parents are also children, and they lack the experience and responsibility to raise children. This is like slow suicide. These children who grow up without care may eventually become "giant baby" parents.


​1OOW Laster Cutter & 30W Laster Cutter

100W laser engraving produces deeper colors than 30W laser engraving. Moreover, the wood board engraved by 100W laser has a heavier burning smell

温水煮青蛙 Warm boiled frog /wēn shuǐ zhǔ qīng wā

Idiom analysis:

Boiling a frog in warm water originated from the story of a frog being slowly boiled to death. Its argument is that if you put a frog in boiling water, it will jump out, but if you put it in cold water and heat it slowly, it will be boiled to death without realizing the danger

The above conclusions were later disproven by scientific experiments, but the story has been passed on as a parable, often used to describe people's inability or unwillingness to notice or respond to an emerging threat.


Boil people

In the case of significant temperature changes, frogs can jump out quickly. And when the water temperature changes very little, the frog is just difficult to detect, and loses the chance of escaping. The basis behind the story of "boiling frogs in warm water" is reasonable, but the heating conditions that can boil frogs to death are different from the "boiling" we generally understand.


​3 Final Work

Artist reflection

'Lubaina Himid  is a British painter who has dedicated her four-decades-long career to uncovering marginalised and silenced histories, figures, and cultural expressions.'

Visiting Lubaina Himid at Tate has two pieces of art in particular that inspired me.


1. There is a backstory for each character and scenario in Fashionable Marriage. To convey their opinions on the state of the world today, artists incorporate themselves into it. The entire area is set out like a theatre, and viewers can choose their own viewing paths. Investigate the solutions you seek.

2. Being a fan of surrealism and someone who enjoys using irony to make my points, I find it incredibly intriguing when I see humans with mallard heads. On the weekend, I went to see the one in Hyde Park. The calm and beautiful exterior of the black swan, I believe, conceals a hint of unfriendliness when it is attentive. Given that the black swan had a mouth full of tiny teeth, it's possible that I witnessed it feeding. I began to believe that beautiful things were not always truly good after that.


Problems:At this stage, for the content of the story, a complete picture can be produced, but it is not enough to break through the possibility of drawing.

References:​​A fashionable marriage (no date) Lubaina Himid. Available at: (Accessed: January 16, 2023). 


Try printing technology | Monoprint


Try different color


Laser Cutter



100W laser engraving produces deeper colors than 30W laser engraving. Moreover, the wood board engraved by 100W laser has a heavier burning smell


Thang-ga reflection

'Thang-ga is a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cottonsilk appliqué, usually depicting a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala. Thangkas are traditionally kept unframed and rolled up when not on display, mounted on a textile backing somewhat in the style of Chinese scroll paintings, with a further silk cover on the front. They often have elaborate compositions including many very small figures. A central deity is often surrounded by other identified figures in a symmetrical composition. Narrative scenes are less common, but do appear.'

Each deity in the thang-ga has its own story, and in the same way I began to think about the framework of the content of my own thang-ga and whether it represented anything.I've always enjoyed Tibetan Buddhism, particularly its aesthetics, and I was studying Bodhisattva Tara (Green) at the time of my life's greatest uncertainty. Therefore, I was motivated by the composition of SIX WAYS in Thang-ga and considered the theme's contrasts. such as right and wrong, good and evil, etc.I am also very curious about the symmetry of Thang-ga.

References:​​Common Gods in Thangka_King Kong (2021) King Kong. Available at: (Accessed: January 16, 2023). 

Thangka (2023) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: (Accessed: January 20, 2023). 




(Embrace a lute)

Maha sitatapatra


(This is her angry image, the left hand of the main arm holds a white canopy, which is one of her main symbols)

Bodhisattva Green Tara


(the incarnation of Guanyin Bodhisattva, the head of the 21st Mother, stepping on the lotus with her right foot)

Chaturbhuja Lokeshvara


(sitting cross-legged, clasping hands in the middle, holding a lotus flower in the outer left hand, and a rosary in the outer right hand)



 The clockwise direction is the Buddhist "卍" character,It appears on the chest of the Buddha Tathagata, and is considered by Buddhists to be "auspicious";

the counterclockwise direction is the Nazi symbol,represents the opposite side of auspiciousness.



The outer circle next to the characters is divided into 6 equal parts, respectively telling the

6 reasons for the decline of natural fertility rate

1. Family planning

2. Parents of giant babies

3. Homosexuality birth restrictions

4. Economic factors

5. Patriarchy

6. Happiness 


Black swans and crows represent bad things happening.


The many circles in the graphic are inspired by the interior graphics of different churches.


The Sagrada Familia


Seville Cathedral


Catedral de Toledo

Church reflection

I visited several famous churches in Spain and I really liked the sculptures and the graphics inside and outside the churches. As I explore the background story of each church, I also refer to the interior of these churches to add some Western religious elements to my work.


Exhibition method

I'm thinking about how to exhibit the work. I don't really like the idea of the work hanging monotonously on the wall, so I'm thinking of making a three-dimensional box to support the work so that it stands up with a certain drama and interest. At the same time I would like to experiment with mediums other than wood panels, such as acrylic.

UNIT2 -Ideas in Progress 

In Unit 2, I'll read some post-humanist books, talk about how human society will change as a result of declining fertility rates, learn some vocabulary words, and try to use artificial intelligence to help me draw future human life. I'll talk about the images produced by artificial intelligence because, in my opinion, even though it can imagine the future, it won't have human emotions, so I'll recreate the future scenes that have already been painted. However, I still have a lot of excitement for pacifiers, therefore I'll continue to utilise them as a motif in my artwork.

References:​​Baofu, P. (2012) The future of post-human performing arts: A preface to a new theory of the body and its presence. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 

Keen, A. (2019) How to fix the future staying human in the Digital age. London: Atlantic Books. 

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