Chinese contemporary artist Mr. Liao recently had his first US show at the Mike Weiss Gallery in NYC dubbed “Imaginary Enemy”. Man I wish I could have seen this one. The inspiration behind Liao Yibai’s “Propaganda Machine” work here is just too good. Particularly “Top Secret Hamburger”. Can you imagine questioning what a hamburger is. Not knowing what it looks like or tastes like. Wondering whether or not if it’s some kind of dumpling. If you were born in a top-secret missile factory during the Cold War in China, it’s not crazy talk. And it’s what happened to Mr. Yiba.

Not only was he born in a missile factory, it’s where he received formal education. While at school there the kids were taught one English word a day. One day the teacher tossed out the word “hamburger.” Of course the kids wanted to know what it meant, but the teacher could only say that it was symbol of American “decadence”. Awesome! Anywho, a father of one of the kids was going to America so they begged him to bring back this hamburger thing. He did. When he got back he rounded up all the kids, shut all the windows and doors and pulled out an envelope stamped “Top Secret” from his briefcase. Inside the envelope was a five day old, greasy ass, American hamburger. Apparently at that time it took five days to travel between spots. All the kids tasted the rotten burger and figured their teacher was indeed correct Americans are pigs.

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