Ming, Mao and McDonald’s
Ming, Mao and McDonald’s references the history of China from the point of view of an outside observer. The paper discards were all collected while in China. The cut-out pattern used is from a Ming Dynasty funerary robe, which would have had its own imbedded symbolism. The work feels different from some of the other pieces in this series where there is English text. In this work, all the writing is in Chinese. For those unable to read it, it becomes visual pattern and it is through the visual we must find our cues. As mentioned, the decorative pattern that forms the body of the piece is from the Ming Dynasty. Included in the paper discards attached are fragments of pages from an old Communist Red Book including images of a smiling Mao, quotations from the text as well as personal writing by the individual who once owned this copy. As well, there is evidence of the rapid infiltration of western society and consumer culture as revealed in the materials, and, in particular, the paper discards collected from McDonald’s. Both the pattern and the materials that create the pattern lead us to contemplate the changes that have happened in Chinese society over the past centuries.