Bottles and Babies

Liu Zhuoquan


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glass baby bottles, mineral pigments, wood shelves
25 pieces, various sizes
shelving unit 97 x 64 x 11.5 cm
Bottles and Babies (2011) may be read as a bleak reflection on the tragedy of the contaminated milk scandal of 2008, in which powdered infant formula adulterated with chemicals caused serious illness in three hundred thousand babies, and some deaths. In a broader sense, the work conveys some of the consequences of China’s rapid industrialisation – appalling pollution, toxic soil and water, and the lack of trust with which people now regard their food supply. Solitary foetuses and infants are suspended in baby bottles arranged in rows on shelves, like a pharmaceutical cabinet or laboratory display. Other vessels contain forceps and scissors in a coded reference to infants aborted as a result of China’s strictly enforced One Child Policy, a social experiment with enormous ramifications that lasted from 1978 to 2015. One contains a blowfly in a reference to corruption and moral decay.
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