Big Farting Bull In Little China
Posted on November 4, 2009
Beijing’s burgeoning art district has a new symbol for its growing influence in the global art world -a giant farting bull.
Created by sculptor Chen Wenling, the 20-foot statue depicts, well, a big fiberglass bull that rams a devil figure with its horns while making whoopie so hard the devil crashes into a wall.
Entitled ‘What You See Might Not Be Real’, Wenling’s flatuous virtuosity has been creating lots of hot air in the Chinese capital’s Joy Art gallery.
Some say it’s a follow-on from his last exhibition, “God Is Materialism”, at the Asia Art Center. Let’s have a think about what the logic might be there. The economy is our God, the bull is the economy, and it’s, eh, gone to shit, right?
Part of an exhibition entitled “Emergency Escape” (the bull really had to let one off, in other words), ‘WYSMNBR’ recalls the Chinese phrase “big fart”, 放屁 (fang pi). This literally translates as, umm, “big fart”, but also has a slang connotation of a big bluff or lie.
So we guess the big lie we’re meant to see is that the Chinese economic bull can’t go on eating up natural resources without, well, letting off some toxic steam. Clever, huh?
Although like every good piece of art, it’s open to more than one interpretation. Maybe the devil figure being pinned to the wall is the Western world’s economy, and the big farting bull of little China is really giving him a good gassing.
Indeed, some say the devil personally represents Bernie Madoff, the former NASDAQ stock market boss that admitted multiple felonies earlier this year in what might be termed the biggest investment stinker of all time.
Either way, you can assume neither Madoff nor the Chinese government are quaking in their intestines at the sight of this art project – maybe they consider it overblown? – but perhaps they could learn that to let a big one rip can sometimes really cause undesirable consequences.