Zhang Hongtu
Zhang Hongtu, Mai Dang Lao (McDonald’s), 2002, set of 4pcs, cast bronze, edition of 10 plus 2 AP’s, actual size
Zhang Hongtu’s Mai Dang Lao (McDonald’s) was featured on the February 17, 2022 episode of the PBS program, NYC-ARTS.  The February 17, 2022 NYC-ARTS episode presented the “Arts of China” gallery of the Brooklyn Museum, which highlights 5,000 years of Chinese artistic accomplishments.  
In Mai Dang Lao (McDonald’s), a hamburger box, french fries container, a fork, and a knife, are cast in bronze and adorned with traditional Chinese motifs, like the taotie mask, which is typically featured on ancient ritual bronze vases used in Chinese ancestor worship.  Here it is combined with the iconic logo of the fast-food giant, transforming the “Happy Meal” into a Shang Dynasty artifact.  The creative juxtaposition of ancient China with contemporary America, and ritual art with consumer culture, is a whimsical critique of the systems of power.  The artist, Zhang Hongtu, a leader of the Political Pop movement in contemporary Chinese art, lives in Queens, New York, after emigrating from China in the 1980s.  

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