BY MOHD FAUZI SEDON
The works in this project is the assimilation of my own shopping activities during the sales promotions at several shopping malls in recent years. I have used it as a site source to collect images and text from available sales and promotional catalogues along with other information such as product bar codes, sales figures, receipts which show the places, products, prices, discounts, dates, time and the name of the cashiers. Looking and comparing prices from different brands have become part of my shopping routine.
One way in which people relate to each other socially is through the mediation, aspiration and pursuit of acquiring things which lead to the expression of personal desires, rewards, gratifications and even glorification. We often don’t realize how much we spend on shopping because we are always buying what we want, and not what we need. So until we see the bank slip at the end of the month, we just keep on buying, keep on enjoying and devoting our desires, to fall prey to the advertising promotions and marketing by retailers.
The hype and concept of everyday low prices is indeed a tool used in shopping complexes and retail outlets to lure and tempt customers. With the constant bombardment of advertising materials invested by these shopping centers to ease and coax our consciousness into continuous buying culture. There are plenty of posters, billboards and banners telling us to buy, that everything is for sale and everything is at a steal at rock bottom prices. But is it all real?
The signature gimmicks like ‘sale’, “mega –sale” ‘clearance’, ‘discount’, ‘reduced’, best buy, special price, buy 1 get 1 free, , and sale figures such as 10%, 20%, 50%, 60%, 75%, etc. can be seen virtually everywhere and all year round. These promotional campaigns function well and have been proven necessary when terms such as consumer’s loyalty, market expansion and projected growth and targeted sales figures are achieved and celebrated.
There are thousands upon thousands of similar products within the market with only the slightest marginal differences in savings. This is the aesthetic of the new market place, one that manipulates our desires through endless variation of choice in lieu of true value. The visual information may be out to confuse us, but this is all part of a strategic move that aims to stimulate and generate a superfluous consumer culture. The maddening world of shopping is the focus of my new works.
My new works respond to this bombardment of codes, signs and symbols as seen during the sales at shopping malls across the country. A sensory experience to lure our emotions and desires, and creating the illusion of values and sensations that lead us into temptation.