Ethan Chan | Old Man

Jan 19 - Feb 9, 2023 ONE | 1955 Julian Avenue

Old Man includes an installation of one work, Hail To The King, a 20 foot long depiction of an ancient Chinese dragon made from American fast food sauce packets. 

On making the work about his father, Chan says: “I wanted to make something where I could imagine how my father feels about me being his son, and the last of his Chinese roots dying with him, not continuing with me, especially as a big part of his persona and his values. With the idea of dragons being the biggest symbol of power and control in Imperial China, I like that the Asian American experience, especially that of a first generation, has an abundant lack of control in being born and raised on foreign soil in a different culture with different values, the loss of what could’ve been a native tongue, etc.”

Constructed from the detritus of American fast food culture and far removed from anything traditionally Chinese, the dragon is not only dead, but slayed and turned into living room decoration. What was once a symbol of power and control is turned into an object of appropriation and excessive commoditization.

Ethan Chan is an artist working in sculpture, installation and performance art, whose practice demonstrates a love for all things kitsch, cookie-cutter, and plastic while examining ideas around Americana, and the effects of globalization on culture and shared experience. He has exhibited at the Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside, CA; THE LINE Contemporary Art, London; and THE ROOM Contemporary Art, Venice, among others. Chan received his BA in Sculpture and Illustration from Point Loma Nazarene and is based in Los Angeles and San Diego. 

Selected Works