From a series about fences and walls along international borders, this print is based on a satellite view of China's Great Wall at Jyonguan and reference photos of police and nomads. The Buddha in the lower right has his hand raised in the abhaya mudra, which symbolizes protection, peace, and the dispelling of fear. The historical Buddha is said to have made this gesture upon gaining enlightenment. The abhaya mudra also looks like the gesture meaning "stop" and the juxtaposition of these two meanings captures for me the essential conundrum of trying to understand China -- the double message of "look at us" (the Olympics, the tremendous economic and technological growth, China's venerable ancient cultural contributions) and "get out of our business" (human rights, product safety, Tibet).
14" x 22" (35.5 x 56 cm) image size
made with 4 shina plywood blocks
27 hand-rubbed color layers on Echizen Kozo paper.