I love Liao Yibai’s metal work. His pieces can be seen at Mike Weiss Gallery, “Made in China” is a collection of twenty-two stainless steel sculptures divided into three sections: Fake Antiques, Fake Evidence, and Legends. The series pokes fun at China’s history of power struggles, misinformation and attempts to re-write its own past. Each piece is hand-welded and placed upon a pseudo-antique pedestal, claiming a position of authenticity that alludes to the thriving fake antique industry in China.
Many of the works are replications of vases and heirlooms dating back to the Ming, Qing and Yuan dynasties. Yibai then gives them a clever modern twist by adding details like nuclear clouds, swine flu viruses and acid rain.
One of the pieces, Chairman’s Chair, is a large throne pierced with arrows and supposedly represents “the artist’s wry summation of 5,000 years of China’s history and its constant struggle for power.”