gingerbread, meringue, biscuit
Ersatz, a large-scale rendering of a graffiti tag that the artist found on Shanghai's famous fringe, and rumored to soon be demolished, Moganshan Road graffiti wall. The tag, ersatz, meaning substitute or fake, in the gallery is displaced, a bad-boy remnant reproduced against the prestigious backdrop of the Bund in the unlikely material of gingerbread. This olfactory rich and memory laden material is in part a reference to the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, where the evil witch builds her house out of this seductive cake in order to lure children. A nod to Shanghai's rapid urbanization, the work explores the challenges that attend the city's explosive growth: the memories of a more human-scaled and increasingly supplanted past and the promise of a mega-sized, glittering Modern metropolis future. The graffiti tag mirrors this tension by charming the viewer through sensory associations of domesticity and comfort inherent in the gingerbread while at the same time alarming the viewer with its strident, urban appearance. However, whether the graffiti is evidence of a bright future or a delectable decoy used to seduce and trick, remains a lingering question.
(Excerpt from the text ‘Beautiful because it is brief’ by Maya Kramer)