Update Your Statues

Every village in the UK or France has a statue or at least a small monument that sits in the center square. It is usually dedicated to a local hero or made by a local artist, and it stands as a concrete testimonial of where your tax-money is being spent. In China, urban statues and monuments seem to answer to a different set of objectives. Praising local heroes is a risky business. Given China’s complex history of revolutions and civil wars, most former public figures, whether scholars, religious figures or politicians have fallen from grace at some point of their career. So Chinese urban architects usually look for safer grounds in representing pastoral scenes, futuristic shiny metallic shapes and generally anything grandiloquent that evokes the bright future of the People’s Republic.
Here are a few of the sculptural masterpieces we met along our journey in the Heavenly Kingdom.

After a couple of second takes, we concluded that this was in fact meant to be a key.

After a couple of second takes, we concluded that this was in fact meant to be a key.

This remarkable "mise en abyme" signals a "top tourist city of China". Spotted so far in Pingliang, Hami and Aksu, 3 cities with absolutely nothing to see.

This remarkable “mise en abyme” signals a “top tourist city of China”. Spotted so far in Pingliang, Hami and Aksu, 3 cities with absolutely nothing to see.

"Blow your trumpet, comrade! I can spot a 1 RMB discount on cooking oil due West!

“Blow your trumpet, comrade! I can spot a 1 RMB discount on cooking oil due West!”

When a thumb battle ends with a draw, friendship wins.

When a thumb battle ends with a draw, friendship wins.

"On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair..."

“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…”

Mr. Squirrel does not seem too concerned by the size of his nut.

Mr. Squirrel does not seem too concerned by the size of his nut.

"Back in the US, back in the US, back in the USSR..."

“Back in the US, back in the US, back in the USSR…”

A sign of gentrified China, Hami's giant luminous golf tee.

A sign of gentrified China, Hami’s giant luminous golf tee.

In view of the Great Wall's failure to prevent Mongol invasions, China's ministry of defense have come up with a cryptic alternative.

In view of the Great Wall’s failure to prevent Mongol invasions, China’s ministry of defense have come up with a cryptic alternative.

When humans finally colonise Saturn, China will remain where China is...

When humans finally colonise Saturn, China will remain where China is…

...but for the Americas there will be a significant shift.

…but for the Americas there will be a significant shift.

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