Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

SadPanda

(176 posts)
Fri Jan 13, 2012, 10:54 PM Jan 2012

MLK Statue... Made in China.... Head Down, Hand to my Face......

Really? A 120 million project sculpted by a Chinese artist. Shipped from China. That doesn't even look like King. That has a misquote on its side soon to be replaced. I understand everyone was incredibly excited to get this memorial on the National Mall but come on.... China? Now everytime I read it or go to DC and see it I'm going to think about the complete disregard for planning.

http://belleville.patch.com/articles/poll-should-mlk-statue-have-been-made-in-america-ff81d7bd

28 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
MLK Statue... Made in China.... Head Down, Hand to my Face...... (Original Post) SadPanda Jan 2012 OP
GAH!!!!! Who made that decision? grasswire Jan 2012 #1
New MLK Monument: Did we keep the receipt? limpyhobbler Jan 2012 #2
REally??!! They couldn't find an american sculptor here in thew US?? Ecumenist Jan 2012 #3
I vaguely remember an article addressing the question Quantess Jan 2012 #21
I thought he looked like Mao's baby brother. Now I know why! MADem Jan 2012 #4
He is posturing like a Chinese general in the statue. Quantess Jan 2012 #22
+1 nt MADem Jan 2012 #26
If he could comment... Fridays Child Jan 2012 #5
I think cyglet Jan 2012 #12
"Doesn't look a damn thing like me" maybe? nt MADem Jan 2012 #27
I guess it was one of those jobs americans didn't want to do Confusious Jan 2012 #6
It's horrible. JDPriestly Jan 2012 #7
Who was in charge of this mess? Doremus Jan 2012 #8
They should be arrested for fraud. aquart Jan 2012 #10
That horrible statue WAS NOT MADE BY AN AMERICAN? Or in America? aquart Jan 2012 #9
Whenever ANY new monument has been erected, Joe Shlabotnik Jan 2012 #11
It's a good statue. It reflects MLK's true militancy. David__77 Jan 2012 #13
don't you mean Mao's true militancy? provis99 Jan 2012 #14
No, I do not. David__77 Jan 2012 #17
I searched for pictures of MLK with his arms folded like that and could not find one csziggy Jan 2012 #15
I actually like that one. David__77 Jan 2012 #18
Here is the photograph that inspired the monument... countryjake Jan 2012 #19
They got it exactly, including the intensity. Good job Chinese sculptors. joshcryer Jan 2012 #23
I posted the "inspiration pic" elsewhere in this thread MADem Jan 2012 #25
"Feint hearted" suggests deception. I think you were going for "faint hearted." MADem Jan 2012 #24
So much face palm jsmirman Jan 2012 #16
I was outraged about this back when they commissioned the artist. Quantess Jan 2012 #20
Ideally the monument of such an extraordinary man should have been made in America. TigerToMany Jan 2012 #28

Quantess

(27,630 posts)
21. I vaguely remember an article addressing the question
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 02:31 AM
Jan 2012

and they featured some prominent black american sculptors in the article. A few they interviewed said they would have loved to have gotten the job, if they had known about it.

MADem

(135,425 posts)
4. I thought he looked like Mao's baby brother. Now I know why!
Fri Jan 13, 2012, 11:29 PM
Jan 2012

It really is a HORRIBLE statue. Someone showed me one of the first views of it, before it hit the paper, and asked me where it was located--I said "North Korea? China?" Much hilarity ensued as a consequence.

I know I am not the easiest person to please, but I think they could have done a MUCH better job on that thing. It's fine to be artsy and different, but the sculpture should bear at least a passing resemblance to the guy being honored. Hell, Lincoln looks like Lincoln, and we had much better photography a century after Lincoln sat for some of his portraits.

And far be it from me to argue with Maya Angelou:

Celebrated poet Maya Angelou has gone so far as to say that even the inscription on the memorial makes him look like "an arrogant twit."



I also don't care much for the WW2 memorial--from a short distance, the architecture makes it look like the Nazis won the war.

Quantess

(27,630 posts)
22. He is posturing like a Chinese general in the statue.
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 02:34 AM
Jan 2012

Pursed lips, tightly folded arms, looking petulant and grumpy. Not looking like the dynamic speaker he was.

Confusious

(8,317 posts)
6. I guess it was one of those jobs americans didn't want to do
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 12:02 AM
Jan 2012

Either that or there weren't any Americans with enough experience and education to do the job.

Kind of ironic, don't you think, having a statue of a man who stood for freedom made in a country that is among the least free on earth? (We're getting there, don't you worry)

JDPriestly

(57,936 posts)
7. It's horrible.
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 12:02 AM
Jan 2012

And the way his arms are crossed. Uggh!

Who commissioned it?

This is reprehensible.

Send it back to China. Let them keep it. Get a good American artist to create a statue that does right by Dr. King.

aquart

(69,014 posts)
9. That horrible statue WAS NOT MADE BY AN AMERICAN? Or in America?
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 12:10 AM
Jan 2012

Maybe replace it with a nice photo? one we can recognize?

Joe Shlabotnik

(5,604 posts)
11. Whenever ANY new monument has been erected,
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 12:19 AM
Jan 2012

at any point in history, there have alway been people saying: its ugly, it's inappropriate, it's facing the wrong way, it does a disservice etc...but in this case, i think the nay-sayers have a lot of traction.

David__77

(23,299 posts)
13. It's a good statue. It reflects MLK's true militancy.
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 12:46 AM
Jan 2012

MLK was a progressive and militant supporter of people's rights, opposed US aggression against Vietnam, and thoroughly criticized capitalism. Some feint-hearted people might not like those things, but they're true. Some people don't like the status because it's "confrontational." They'd turn MLK into some cartoon character or common liberal - he was not.

David__77

(23,299 posts)
17. No, I do not.
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 01:58 AM
Jan 2012

And MLK is not the property of people in the US only. He belongs to the whole world. And he WAS militant, and it's for that reason that he was so powerful.

csziggy

(34,130 posts)
15. I searched for pictures of MLK with his arms folded like that and could not find one
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 01:38 AM
Jan 2012

In nearly every photo of MLK his arms are open, gesturing. In a few, his hands are clasped as if in prayer. I found one image with his arms crossed, but they are over the back of what appears to be a pew.

To show a more militant Martin Luther King Jr. this image would be my pick:


But that is not the dominant image he showed to the world if the photos I found on the internet are to be believed.

joshcryer

(62,265 posts)
23. They got it exactly, including the intensity. Good job Chinese sculptors.
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 02:38 AM
Jan 2012

I do think it would've been nicer if an African-American could've done it here, though, but I'm OK with the Chinese doing it.

MADem

(135,425 posts)
25. I posted the "inspiration pic" elsewhere in this thread
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 02:59 AM
Jan 2012

However, he's relaxed, leaning back, arms crossed the OTHER way, with an open, contemplative expression on his face, before a picture of Ghandi.

The sculptor blew it, and I can't believe they couldn't find an American sculptor who might have better captured the man's essence.

MADem

(135,425 posts)
24. "Feint hearted" suggests deception. I think you were going for "faint hearted."
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 02:57 AM
Jan 2012

The statue is not "confrontational." It's...what's the word? BAD.

Martin Luther King was not a short-armed, puffy-eyed, rigid, stout man. He didn't look a thing like that representation. It does not even begin to capture the man's essence.

It's just not good.

He looked like this:



There's no life or fire in that thing.

This is the photo that "inspired" the statue. MLK is neither "confrontational" or "militant" in this picture--indeed, he's contemplative and relaxed in the presence of a photo of the individual who was an inspiration to him. I think the sculptor of this piece needed more inspiration:



This is not an opinion out of far left field, either--many people feel this way. When the overarching impression is "stern" and "Stalinist" that's just not good:

http://www.oregonlive.com/art/index.ssf/2011/08/critics_pan_new_martin_luther.html

Quantess

(27,630 posts)
20. I was outraged about this back when they commissioned the artist.
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 02:26 AM
Jan 2012

A few people here on DU suggested "well Asians are a minority, too, same as MLK..." but not many DUers seemed to care.

I think it's shameful and a slap in the face to American artists. There are tons of great American sculptors, black ones too, if we want to get down to race.

Why wasn't there more outrage in the beginning?

 

TigerToMany

(124 posts)
28. Ideally the monument of such an extraordinary man should have been made in America.
Sat Jan 14, 2012, 03:24 AM
Jan 2012

An African-American artist should have been chosen. At the very least they should have chosen an artist who was not only talented but had progressive values at heart so as to convey Dr. King's message of tolerance.

The thought that it was outsourced to China, a country which is known for its racism against minorities, and where it was probably built with slave labor is appalling.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»MLK Statue... Made in Chi...