Gu Xiong: The Sickle and the Cell Phone

A 48-page catalogue published by the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON.

The sculpture The Sickle and the Cell Phone by Vancouver-based multi-disciplinary artist Gu Xiong addresses the dramatic changes occurring in china from the Maoist period to present day. China is a country at the forefront of globalization. Xiong has repurposed the communist symbol by replacing the hammer with a giant model of a cell phone, perched atop the sickle. During the Maoist period, Xiong spent his teenage years working as a farm labourer, deep int he mountains of Sichaun, China. When he returned to the region twenty-five years later in 2001, former peasants had become wealthy businessmen, brandishing cell phones, as they made international deals. He witnessed the demise of modest centuries-old family enterprises, such as foundries, that could not compete with the international market.

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