Milly's Temple, 2013
Wood, stone, and aluminum,
17’ 8 5/8" x 18’ 4 1/2" x 13’ 9 3/8"
(540.1 x 560.1 x 420.1 cm)
For this work, Zhang Huan has appropriated a late Qing Dynasty (1644–1911 CE) street gateway for farmers to demonstrate his solidarity with villagers in rural China, a group with whom he feels a commonality because of his own upbringing. The gateway is from Shanxi Province, a mountainous region in the north of China, near to Henan Province where the artist was raised by his grandmother. An aluminum replica of a beehive hangs from the center of the roof of Milly’s Temple, and serves as a metaphor for human communities. As Zhang has said, a beehive implies "a sacred empire, country, and homeland to me . . . I intend to arouse considerations on how to build the homeland for humanity."