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Western Icons Captain America, Iron Man, Ronald McDonald & Colonel Sanders Transformed Into Chinese Deities By Singapore Art Installation

To usher in the Lunar New Year, the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall has collaborated with Hong Kong artist Tik Ka From East for a lawn installation aptly titled “Blessings Come A-Knocking“.

The installation features two artworks, “Eat Good West” and “Big War“. They stay true to Tik Ka From East’s signature style, blending modern pop culture iconography with traditional Oriental style of art. These artworks tap into the Chinese Lunar New Year tradition of decorating homes and doorways with new year prints of door deities (门神) to ward off bad luck and attract blessings.

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Instead of deified figures from history and myths such as Qin Shubao (秦叔宝), Yuchi Gong (尉迟恭), and Zhong Kui (钟馗), these door deities are Captain America, Iron Man, Ronald McDonald, and Colonel Sanders. As door deities come in pairs, there is an interesting tension artistically with pairing Ronald McDonald with Colonel Sanders and Captain America with Iron Man because the former are competing fast food megafranchises while the latter are ideologically opposed to each other in Captain America: Civil War.

The artworks are a great way to revitalise interest in the symbolism and traditions by using instantly recognisable pop culture figures as a conduit. They are also part of a wider range of programmes, the Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2022, that will feature performances, special exhibitions, and workshops for visitors to enjoy. The lawn installation will be featured from now till 24 July 2022 at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall for those who want to take pictures with these modern-day door deities.

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