Sputnik Moment, 2019.  Acrylic on canvas with road sign.  45 x 45”.

Sputnik Moment is part of a large-scale painting series made in response to shifting geopolitical tensions and the nature of US-China relations during the presidency of Donald Trump.  The title and text contained within the painting refer to contrasting figures of speech in English in Chinese.  In Chinese, “launching a Sputnik” was a phrase coined by communist party officials to honor growth or accomplishments in government.  In the United States, the archaic phrase “Sputnik Moment” was used to describe a sudden moment of realization that one has fallen behind.  The painting series draws from the subversive nature of Cold War-era visual media to provide commentary on the weaponization of language and nationalist sentiment to advance government agendas and disguise human rights violations.