Made in China by Sui Jianguo for SCAPE Public Art Season 2019
Sui Jianguo Made in China. Image courtesy of Pace Gallery and SCAPE Public Art. Photo by Heather Milne.
‘In China, if you want to be a modern artist, you have to teach yourself. You learn the figurative technique in school but you want to find a new way. Then you have to find a different material and the way to fix it by yourself. I use heavy materials because I think my inside wants the heaviness.’ – Sui Jianguo
Everything comes from somewhere. Made in China was both a provocation, tapping into contemporary anxieties about buying local, and a statement of fact: it was an artwork made by a Chinese artist. At a time when we are increasingly concerned about where and how things are produced, Made in China inserted itself into the heart of the debate. Rendered larger than life etched in a shipping container, Made in China claimed the space it sat on as much as the imaginary items it might have contained. But Made in China was also a playful take on the artist’s signature, geo-tagging the artwork to a place.