The Pearls That Were His Eyes

Pearl River Mart Gallery, 395 Broadway, TriBeCa, New York City


Featuring Artist Ben Sloat


November 30, 2017-January 2, 2018 | Reception Saturday, December 9, 3-5pm

This site-specific installation uses the architecture of the Pearl River Mart Gallery as the framework for a layered exploration of cultural exchange, urban evolution, and authorship.


At its center are factory commissioned oil paint portraits of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, which interact with sumptuous golden wallpaper featuring a traditional scene. In this juxtaposition, Deng’s image represents a commodity, through a system enabled by his own creation. Presented among variously hand-altered sheets of construction materials, the wallpaper and portraits are duplicated, fragmented, and curiously disrupted.


The flood within these walls represents the economic, social, and political sea change that occurred in China from the 1970s to the 1990s, bridging traditional and modern worlds.

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