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October 15, 2010



To think. When those cultural barbarians have finished looting and pillaging the Arts Council budget, exhibits like this will no longer be available to the masses. What are we to do?


Isn't this rather a powerful bit of propaganda for the Chinese regime? Eg producing installation artists who work with thousands of dedicated artisans in their cosy village homes to produce cutting edge. And how much did we pay for it? I was listening to a review of it on BBCR4 this evening, and the reviewer said that without being able to get close up to it, it just looks like a very large expanse of shag pile carpet. LOL.

Mick H

It's certainly an interesting question: how much the Tate paid for it. I can't imagine the Chinese regime being too pleased though: the artist does make his dislike of Mao fairly clear.


But that's the point: the Chinese regime these days tries to present itself as a benevolent rising innovative power in the world. It distances itself from Mao. This installation romanticizes, sanitizes and cosmeticizes China's role as a corporatist state managed sweatshop for the world, and celebrates a managed mass production facility based on highly controlled and politically repressed village sweated labour in the name of art. If China had been displeased you would have heard about it pretty quickly. In terms of its elements, it has a huge amount in common with the spectaculars produced for the start of the Beijing Olympics-- again, using vast numbers of people regimented into patterns and production output geared to impressing the global westernized media audience.

It's the choreographed mass parades and events of the totalitarian regimes of the 30s to the 50s morphed into productions compatible with the expectations and demands of today's global digital consumers. And the message: China is where the cutting edge of art is; China has found ways to make the Great Leap Forward from primitive village craft production to highly organized precision use of hand labour to realise mass-produced unique hand-crafted products. Multiple ironies indeed.

Mick H

Yes: very interesting analysis Judy. So the artist here provides a kind of sanctioned dissidence. As you say, multiple ironies.


" I really like that one over there on the left...about 8' back and 10' out. Can I see it please? How much is it?"

Will Jones

Soooo, a bunch of other people actually created the porcelain seeds and this 'artist' just dumped them all over the floor. How controversial.

Just like over here in Sydney an sculptor was given a few million dollars to create an artwork in one of the parks. He was talking about his piece on camera while a bunch of builders/enginees were actually constructing it.

Am I missing something here about what an artist actually does now days? Are they simply a spokesperson for the ones doing all the work and don't actually physically create anything by the skill of their hands and sweat of their brow?

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