The breathtaking installation of two towering MC Supersized and Liberty Grin statues (~ 20 ft) for Ron English’s East Meets West art exhibition in Shanghai was unfortunately cut short. As reported by the South China Morning Post, the statues were installed Wednesday morning China time and then were subsequently removed a few hours later at the request of mall management, law enforcement and local government, even though the proper permits had been requested and received by the Reel Department Store, the local show sponsor, as part of the exhibit preparation.
While one might be suspicious of the reasons behind the removal, the stated reason was a matter of size. As Ron explained in response to the question of whether the removal was politically motivated, “I don’t know. I am not familiar as the situation seemed to be one of the size and scale in the public square, and perhaps things being lost in translation versus anything else.”
While the South China Morning Post reports that McDonald’s was apparently not pleased with a larger-than-life MC Supersized, the restaurant chain’s complaints were ultimately not the reason the statues were removed. In fact, MD Young of exhibition producer Pop Life explained that “…was not the issue as the artist was able to provide proof of US copyrights for his works.”
As you can see in the pictures above and after the jump, both of Ron’s statues look great and were the perfect calling cards and anchors for the exhibit. While only a fraction of the potential audience was able to see them, the news of their removal and display at a future stop on the art tour will ensure that many more people will see and enjoy them.