Post-Ping-Pong-Pink, Chi-Yan Kailey Law

Over the weekend I popped by Central St Martins to take a look at the MA show. It was a whistlestop visit so my wanderings were limited to only part of the ground floor, however a sculpture by Chi-Yan Kailey Law really caught my eye.

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Aesthetically I loved the simplicity of the colours and textures and the map of China perching at the top intrigued me. From the wall text it takes at its starting point the invitation to visit the People’s Republic of China which was extended to the American Ping Pong team before the opening up of China.

The ping pong balls at the base of the sculpture make an overt reference to this but also link in with the idea of China as an economic power via trade and export of mass produced goods. This idea is reinforced by the expanding foam which drips over the balls. The foam extends upwards in a bright pink column to support a pink map of China representing the increasingly active and vital role women are playing in Chinese society.

As the artist explains: “The pink map means the position of female in China is now pushing upwards. My work is a manifestation of the struggle of the Chinese female, a comment on the past as well as the present.”

Something which did puzzle me though was the presence of several smaller satellite sculptures which mirrored the construction of the main piece but terminated in pink circular shapes rather than maps. They looked vaguely like empty pedestals but didn’t add anything to the work as far as I could tell.