In the past few weeks, since the government arrested Ai Weiwei, the world has turned its eyes to China’s art scene. As we wait and hope and try to support Ai as much as possible, we’ve become fascinated with a new project by the Chinese husband-and-wife team Shao Yinong and Muchen. Debuting at the 2011 Singapore Art Biennale, Spring and Autumn is a collection of 12 large tapestries, embroidered in the ancient, vividly detailed Suzhou method, that replicate old bank notes from China, Vietnam, Germany, and Russia/USSR. The combination of traditional technique, enormous scale, and the currency’s typical imagery of rulers, gods, and monuments forces us to consider the power of money across governments around the world. Designboom has posted a collection of images from Shao Yinong and Muchen’s show; see a selection of our favorites after the jump, then click over there for more.
10,000 Chinese Note (Dr. Sun Yat-sen), 1942
100 Russian Note (Catherine II), 1910
100 Chinese Note (Four Leaders), 1990
10 Chinese Note (Workers and Peasants), 1949
1 Chinese Note (Tian’anmen), 1956
1 Chinese Note (Temple of Heaven), 1935
100 German Mark Note (Goddess), 1908