Sunday, May 30, 2010

Picture of the Day: Artistic Messages

Wandering around the 798 Art District, you don't have to go into galleries to see art -- you can see it outdoors too.

The first of the pieces I spotted was this car parked among real ones.

It's a model of a BMW sports car... with a distinctive Great Wall touch.

Is it supposed to be a foreign car with Chinese characteristics? Or the Chinese invasion of the auto industry?

Next up is an iconic image of Lei Feng, a young man who the Communist Party of China has upheld as a model worker for his selfless devotion for society (whether fabricated or not).

When you look up close, it's actually made up of hundreds of Polaroid photographs of young people, probably an ironic take on Lei Feng, as kids in the 1980s and 1990s have a different view of their lives -- to have fun and for the most part, be selfish, thanks in part to the one-child policy producing "little emperors and empresses".

The next piece I saw was what people outside of China would immediately identify as Jesus on the cross. But the atheist Chinese take on this religious image is of a "Man at Work" or "工作". If you think of it that way, he is working hard to rid humanity of its sins...

And finally, this statue of two workers a la 1950s style holding up a giant wad of 100 RMB bills. The money is even bound together with the long strip of paper that bank tellers use to bind 100 of the 100 RMB bills to equal bricks of 100,000 RMB ($14,638) in cash.

Early in the establishment of new China after 1949, workers were passionate about building a new country, or so the propaganda says. They proudly raised their hammers, scythes, wrenches and whatever other tools they had, united in their goal.

These blue-collar workers are still united in a goal -- but now it's money.


ks said...

pretty good art works, reflecting the national mood of the day.

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