- Seafood Banquet
- inscribed and signed LI JIN
- ink and colour on paper
- 53 by 230 cm., 21 by 90 1/2 in.
In Seafood Banquet, the grandiose and highly political poetry by Mao Zedong is interspersed between delectable seafood delights. The reasons for such words to pervade the painting could be that he was raised in a family where Mao’s poems were often recited or that he happened to peruse a Mao anthology of his triumphs and tribulations after having a lavish feast one evening. In any case, the ambiguous juxtaposition renders the seriousness of the words into festivity. Li Jin’s re-appropriation of text is less intended to focus on literal meaning than meant to capture a moment of indiscriminate spontaneity—an essential quality of the literati espousal of self-expression.