By the late 1980s Mao Xuhui found his most significant imagery, depicting the power relations in social structure in what he called his Parent series. The seated 'parent' gradually cedes his corporeal presence to the increasingly overwhelming presence of the seat, to the degree that the artist eventually depicted a pair of scissors as a figure sitting on a throne: a surrealistic representation of paternal power. As his iconography developed, the image of the scissors was released from its throne to become a surreal presence making rude intrusions into domestic interiors and urban landscapes. By 1997 the scissors had become a completely distilled figure, purified of its background, almost resembling a tantric dorje: it emerged as one of the most convincing iconic images to have evolved from the pictorial work of this era. In this singular iconic form is concentrated the innuendos of power, worship and exorcism.
Text courtesy Hanart TZ Gallery.
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