Exhibition Artwork Preview

August 10, 2010

Title: Bloodlines

This work represents the consumption of women by overpowering state control and social pressure. The text in the background comes from genuine government propaganda and is written upside down and written unevenly to question it’s validity. The slogans read “Giving birth to a boy or a girl are both equally good”, “Girls can also carry the family bloodline. Tomorrow they are the builders of our country.”

A reverse-mermaid is used to suggest that the reproductive value of a woman is more important than anything else. The fish’s mouth points to the Chinese character for “woman”, while the woman’s feet point to a character meaning “to reproduce” or “to pass on the bloodline”.

The green colour of the bowl suggests spring – the start of reproduction.

Title: Nirvana

This work talks about the One-Child Policy in the countryside, and in-particular the importance of having a son, along with the policy’s environmental impact. The slogans are this time written as if they are on the doors to a house – where traditionally words are written that bring good fortune. The text across the top reads “Family Planning”, while down the side is “Have less babies and plant more trees” and “Have less babies and raise more pigs”. Again, these are from genuine Chinese government posters found in rural China.

The woman in the picture is posing in a Buddhist position and surrounded by a halo, which suggests that her achievement – giving birth to a son – has turned her into a religious icon or magical Buddha. However even as a Buddha, she has been placed under the frame of a door, where her movement is restricted. The forest in the background represents her environmental achievement – she helped the environment by having just one child.

The painting is to be hung above eye level, so viewers have to look up to her in a gesture of respect and admiration.

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