The Day Before I Went Away

2002 – Present

As the name suggests, this series is a reminiscence of the day before we were ‘shipped out’ once we completed our training. A gala performance was always put on for the troops. The shows consisted of famous PLA singers and the dance troupes, Entertainments Soldiers.

The series is about the way the military utilizes these gala shows to motivate and indoctrinate soldiers, and the way these entertainers are built up as Communist Party and army icons.

The superficially wholesome angelic innocence of these performances barely concealed the alluring flirtatiousness and underlying sexual tension.

the-day-before-i-went-away-001The day before I went away, 2003, oil on canvas, 152 x 213cm, Courtesy of the artist

the-day-before-i-went-away-002Demonstrator, from The Day before I Went Away2004, oil on canvas, 152 x 213cm, Courtesy of the artist

the-day-before-i-went-away-003The Day before I Went Away, 2008, 152 x 231cm, Private collection

the-day-before-i-went-away-004The Day before I Went Away, 2008, oil on canvas, 320 × 227cm, Queensland Art Gallery, Purchased through the Queensland Government’s Gallery of Modern Art 

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