He did not want to shame his family. That was the only reason he obeyed the draft order. When he joined veteran soldiers at a mass execution site for the first time, he was horror-stricken by his fellow countrymen’s bearing. They were snickering at the prisoners. Their eyes shone like tigers, as if thirsting for more blood. Suddenly, someone pushed him forward. Now he had to kill the enemy civilian in front of him. Beads of sweat began to form on his forehead. His arms and legs shook convulsively. The tigers’ eyes were ridiculing him. His stomach clenched and he vomited. The tigers’ laughter roared over him. Feeling faint and defeated, he aimed the rifle at the motionless victim, and pulled the trigger.
Killing got easier. He had been transformed into a killing machine. At the bottom of his heart, he still detested merciless killing, but he became used to it and laughed at those who showed signs of cowardice. He said to himself, “This is war.”
In deep mountains, he was finally captured by a guerilla band. As the bearded men dragged him onto bloodstained soil, he showed them a photo of his children and pled for their mercy. Panic-stricken, he failed to see that his effort was in vain. Their eyes, too, were like those of tigers. Their hearts had long ceased to hear the cry of their captives.
Japan at War by Theodore and Haruko Cook, Pearl Bucks' fictions, and NPR reports from Iraq inspired the above story of a man's transformation.
As the above image was not satisfactory, I sculpted the left. It does not portray the transformation that the man went through. I am contemplating how I can combine 2D and 3D images in order to make the composition talk the story to the viewers.
The sculptures composed under the theme "Hear the Voice of the Voiceless" will be pitfired. If I am successful, smoke imprints should make the images more grotesque. The finished pieces will be placed on a blood-colored velvet.