“There is a kind of day that is very grey or brown . . . it is a mood or tone I often feel on a dreary day, waiting for a taxi before it rains or going to some kind of daily routine . . . It’s the experience of being on the street in open space, or just inside ourselves. What do we feel, what do we choose to notice and sense on a given day? It’s about the internal and external landscape of the place as I experience it.”

From "Taking note", by Nicholas Laughlin, in the August 2006 Caribbean Review of Books

Sunday, January 24, 2010


"MADE IN CHINA" stamps have been so much a part of our lives growing up in Caribbean. In the past it was pencils and plastic pencil-sharpeners, yellow twelve-inch-rulers etc. Modest items with all the associations of developing countries and low level consumption. Today, in the same locations, for people with bigger budgets, it is now monolithic structures and narratives of progress.
I bought this little stamp in a mall in Port of Spain. I began to see these little stamps more and more over the years. Apparently they are quite commonly used for labeling, on arrival, in small shops? Why are they being labeled here in Trinidad? What would the value of labeling my work this way in narratives of development and progress? So far I have begun to label drawings of pedestals for politicians to stand upon.
I am about to install a newer updated version of "Tropical Night" at the TATE Liverpool, in the Afro Modern exhibition. I packed my little rubber stamp.


Afrodeity said...

I've heard of "suitcase traders" using these stamps when importing goods that aren't labelled with a country of manufacture. Such a label is necessary to bring these goods here "legally". So, traders take these stamps with them to wherever they go to get their goods and if there happen to be any items which are untagged, they place a little "Made in China" stamp on to avoid any trouble with Customs.

Visual Matters said...

Thanks for that Cecile..makes perfect sense