Why do they never take colour photos?

, Fiberglass, Fibreglass, Limewash
780 x 400 x 320 cm

Song Ta’s humorous installation centres on a political figure that has become synonymous with China itself, both nationally as well as internationally. The work consists of a grey, large-scale bust of Chairman Mao – copied from a well-known sculpture ubiquitously seen throughout China – and absurdly transported to the grounds of the Cass Sculpture Foundation. Song is a member of the so-called ‘post-80s’ generation of Chinese citizens who did not experience the Cultural Revolution first hand. Thus, his personal impression of the Great Helmsman has only ever been hazy at best. This is reflected in the formal presentation of the sculpture itself: like so many monuments throughout the world, Song’s sculpture of Mao is leeched of colour and vitality, and in addition, Song has sprayed the surrounding vegetation a neutral shade of grey to match. In typically ironic fashion, Song has created a picture-perfect monument– inviting visitors to photograph themselves in front of this ‘readymade’ black and white image of an historical figure, and playfully asking us to question our own relationship to cultural memory and national identity in an era of spectacle and simulacra.


About The Artist

Song Ta’s works are rooted in the artist’s observations of everyday life and social reality. His practice includes photography, video, installation, painting, and performance, among other media. Song is not concerned with the refinement of traditional aesthetics or expressions of visual beauty; rather, he adopts a relaxed, comical attitude, enjoying the conceptual freedom art allows him. His work often weaves together systems of administration and bureaucracy with transparency and often seeks to provoke and antagonise the established boundaries between institutional and commercial definitions of art.

‘Why do they never take colour photos?’ is currently on display

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Song Ta

Born: 1988

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