The Death of Po-Han, 18x35 inches, glass beads, canvas, 2008
This work was inspired by the Richard McKenna novel, “The Sand Pebbles”, a story that takes place in the 1920’s during a period of gunboat diplomacy by the US in China.
Holman, the ship's engineer is shown shooting his best friend, the coolie Po-Han, who is being tortured on the beach in front of the ship, to put him out of his misery. The symbols in the flab, political parties, Standard Oil, missionaries, and the United States represent the key players in Po-Han's death. A map of the Yangtzhe River, where the story takes place, crosses the flag. The Chinese text is the Lord's Prayer.