Ching Chong Cha 2005

Ching Chong Cha 2005

3 panels, framed. Each panel: 1280mm X 1280mm. Shrapnel (aluminium), paper, sand, stones, wood.

Artist's statement: In the game of Ching Chong Cha (also called ‘Paper, Scissors, Stone’), there are three ways of scoring a victory over an opponent: 1. Scissors beat paper; 2. Paper beats Stone; and 3. Stone beats scissors. In my work Ching Chong Cha I treat the three elements as the deciding factors of human destiny. Stone is viewed as land and minerals. It speaks of borders around countries, land rights and the way we use our land. Paper is viewed as deliberation and negotiation; as minutes of meetings, books or documentation. It reflects on how we govern. Scissors are viewed as military power. The sign of the letter X is enlarged and made up of shrapnel to show how far we are prepared to go to enforce our will in armed combat.

In panel one, stone triumphs over scissors – but only just. The earth is always going to be there – it might be badly abused and cut up, but it is hardly likely to vanish. In panel two the shrapnel is stronger than paper. It makes no difference that we are clever, or caring – that we have precious thoughts or good intentions. When military might is enforced our valuable human resources are hurt and destroyed. Panel three sees the triumph of thought over the land. Intent and contemplation subjects the land and what it yields to become politically and socially viable. Paper wins over stone, but always only just.