Couldn't Bananas be Black?


Wooden table and chairs, African statuettes, Chinese chess

Chair: 125 cm (49 3/16 in.) Table: 83 cm (32 11/16 in.) Overall dimensions: 125 x 153 x 79 cm (49 3/16 x 60 1/4 x 31 1/8 in.)

African statuettes and a Chinese chess sets are on a wooden table. The placing of the two chairs on either side of the table is surprising: they are embedded in it, recalling Zhen Chen’s 1995 work Round Table.

In that piece, chairs from around the world were represented around a table, floating in order to lighten possible discussions between countries. Similarly, in Couldn't Bananas Be Black (2009) Chen addresses race, specifically Chinese racism against Africans.

Chen's sculpture was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the 2014 "Art Lovers" show at the Grimaldi Forum Monaco.