Yue Minjun has roped and harnessed the age-old power of the icon. In his paintings and sculptures, as in Wild Laugh (GJ117), his work for Swatch, Yue seizes attention with arresting images of frozen, mask-like laughter. The dial displays four of the artist’s trademark laughing, disembodied faces at hours 3, 6, 9 and 12. The blue plastic strap of this clever piece is spangled with red stars, and the dial’s hour and minute hands take up the flag-blue from the strap. Dripping with irony, this caustic work presents and criticizes a perceived uniformity and lack of originality, itself walking the taut tightrope between the two with gravity-defying poise.
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