Beijing Tiananmen - engraved black granite, on granite base with natural stone - 1989
"The use of the American words “jeans” and “sneakers” is meant to suggest not only the ‘harmlessness’ of the citizens with their ‘universal rights’ as normal people wearing their everyday clothes, but their ‘western influence’, and the increasing role of China as a centre of manufacturing, including the low wages and poor working conditions for many who work making “jeans and sneakers” for the rest of the world. The formal layout and official-looking text on the stern symmetry of the upright granite is in contrast to the form of the egg-shaped natural stone placed onto the base. This is meant to represent the ancient ways, the appreciation of nature as a model for behaviour which is expressed in aspects of Taoism and Confucianism, both deeply influential in Chinese civilisation. This sculpture is in the collection of the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Visual Concrete Poetry in Miami. The image above was published as one of 24 postcards for the catalogue of Multiple Pleasures at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney in 1996."
Excerpt from Word Art Work doctoral essay by Richard Tipping 2007, from a book in progress.