How to Make an Entrance: Rock, Paper, Scissors ?
First impressions count. The contemporary art at the British Ambassador's Residence in Beijing is a conversation starter, often illuminating the connections between Britain and China. The art portrays a modern, sustainable and innovative Britain, underlining historical and contemporary links to events and individuals, that are of significance for both nations.
Rock - Paper - Scissors by British artist, Ceal Floyer
How many visitors stepping into the British Ambassador’s Residence in Beijing would guess that ‘Rock paper scissors’ originated in China? Played by children and adults around the world, this universal game is based on a hierarchy in which two people try to outwit each other by demonstrating the more ‘powerful’ hand sign over the other, representing a rock, paper or a pair of scissors.
This well-known game is the focus of Rock – Paper – Scissors, a work by British artist, Ceal Floyer. Made in 2013, the work presents each object separately as a line of photographs. Floyer works across film, installation and sculpture, and often shows everyday objects in a new light, playfully inviting us to think about how sight, reality and language can slip and slide around.
Ceal Floyer, Rock-Paper-Scissors, 2013 / © DACS 2016
Challenging us to look at familiar objects from a different perspective is a subtle but powerful role that the Collection artworks play in the Residence. Floyer’s piece is one of three contemporary works that visitors encounter as soon as they walk into the entrance hall. Strategically placed, these works make a vivid first impression, while amplifying the business of diplomatic dialogue that happens inside the building.
Written by Chantal Condron, Curator (Public Engagement and Research)