Thursday, 19 April 2012

Wei Dong and the Slug Daddy

Nasty "Slug Daddy" Puddlegum is currently on holiday touring his beloved fields of Cambodia.
He promised to send me a postcard every day chronicling his adventures and explorations.
And, bless him, he has! That man touches me in so many ways! Admittedly most of them are inappropriate but, to his eternal credit, they are never illegal.
Nasty’s postcards depict images created by Chinese avant-garde artist Wei Dong (b. 1968).
Another Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei ,was recently declared “the most powerful person in the art world” with the Tate Modern purchasing 10 tonnes of his famous porcelain sunflower seeds for an undisclosed sum of money. Wei Dong, however, uses the more traditional media of pen and ink to remain true to his culture’s artistic heritage.
Each of Wei Dong's images presents a particular modern twist which, to my eyes at least, becomes more and more bizarre and outlandish the more one looks.
For me, they *feel* politically subversive.
I cannot pretend to “understand” these images but I am most certainly captivated by them. Ironically, this sentiment is a good summary of how I feel about Slug Daddy himself!
Why the Cambodian Tourist Board should choose to decorate the official government-issue tourist postcards with images created by a Chinese modernist, experimental artist is far from clear to me but I am nevertheless thankful to Slug Daddy for introducing me to Wei Dong’s work.
It should be noted that the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office are currently advising against all travel to many areas of Cambodia. Nasty Puddlegum is only safe there because he is under the protection of the ruling Sar dynasty.

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