17 Dec 2020

Have you ever noticed how many good jokes start with “have you ever noticed”? Humour is often triggered with observations of the things around us. While thinking fast, we constantly assess and snap into judgements. Thinking fast is central to humour and is often where humour is captured quickly and automatically.

Influenced by David Kahneman’s statement, whereby thinking fast operates automatically, snaps into actions quickly and makes assumptions. In the contrary, thinking slow deliberately takes all to come to an explicit conclusion and rational choices. Thinking fast has inevitably impacted the way I work. 

Take drawing as an example. I have been making humourous drawings for about 2 years. It started off being slow. I had to observe the things around me, jot it down, draw it several times, read books about humour, study cartoons, listen to comedies etc. There were many things I intentionally studied before this process became familiar to me. Now, making a funny drawing is easy. It naturally comes from my gut and it works. I have trained myself to learn this skill. It then becomes intuitive. 

A part of my illustration practice is brought to focus on the project Taking The Piss. Comedy can be a lot of things - self-pity, frustration, anger etc. Taking a piss out of others is a big deal in comedy. Over the years, I have developed a specific tone of teasing in drawing and writing. This project challenges me to find the humour in those on-the-brink situations. It celebrates sour embarrassing, near-pathetic moments. This project focused on changing the tones of work and further pushing the limits of teasing, through iterating and constantly reflecting on the work.

Writing is rewriting. Drawing is redrawing. Comedy is both impulsive and carefully thought through. Once drawing and writing are taken more impulsively, comedy starts to take form. Drawing, writing and thinking fast create a space for development. I iterate on my everyday thoughts triggered by daily observations on others. They are often snap judgements while thinking fast. Drawing and writing here are the forms to collecting, processing and provoking thoughts. The work is constantly changing its iterating methods through making and thinking through forms.