Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Tan, Yuk King
Untitled (Red Masks) is series of plastic and wax masks covered with red fabric tassels. The tassels cover the surface of each mask and then fall to the floor where the threads pool in uneven piles. The eleven masks in Yuk King Tan's sculpture consist of representations of symbolic animals from the Chinese calendar, an 'alien' mask, and a wax mask of the artist's face. A mass-produced culture Tan's masks and red tassels are made from the materials of mass-produced Chinese culture available in Asian supermarkets and food stores around the country. In Tan's hands the mass-produced merchandise becomes a sign of the effects of cultural migration and resettlement. The flow of consumer goods is a sign of a mobile global economy, while the sometimes strange juxtapositions of cheaply produced items points to the complexity of identity in the contemporary world. Alien faces Although she was born in Australia, Tan regards herself as a Chinese New Zealander. She has described her own identity ...