Triangle for Sun Yat-Sen Hall, 2019
Wood, stain, laser-etched glass, digital prints on Duraflex mounted on Dibond, mouth-blown glass
Structure: 116.5L x 66W x 120H inches
Henry Kissinger coined the term “Triangular” diplomacy to describe the United States’ strategy in the 1970s of playing the Soviet Union against China. It was fully initiated when President Nixon visited Beijing in 1972 – the first time a sitting U.S. president visited the People’s Republic. "Triangle" plays on this historic, high-stakes event, which the New York Times cited in one of its articles about Sun Yat-Sen Hall at St John's University, completed in 1971.
Commissioned by the Yeh Art Gallery, housed in Sun Yat-Sen Hall, on the occasion of the exhibition "Diplomacy" by Owen Duffy, the primary component of "Triangle" hybridizes a Christmas tree and a chinoiserie pagoda. Laser-etched glass ornaments reference First Lady Patricia Nixon’s 1972 Christmas tree, which was inspired by two 19th century American paintings: Severin Roesen’s "Still Life with Fruit" and "Nature’s Bounty," both in the White House Art Collection.
Special thanks to Chris Held.