'Top Secret Hamburger' by Liao Yibai
On display during the summer at the Mike Weiss Gallery in New York City was the exhibit
"Imaginary Enemy" by the contemporary Chinese artist Liao Yibai featuring a series of stainless steel sculptures peppered with Cold War imagery, including "Top Secret Hamburger," the larger version weighing in at the 330 lbs, made from 2600 pieces of welded steel.
"Top Secret Hamburger" takes inspiration from a childhood experience: While attending school at a military factory in China, "Yibai and his classmates were taught one English word a day. One day, the word was 'hamburger,' however, the teacher was not able to explain what it was beyond a symbol of American 'decadence'." The students managed to convince a classmate's father to bring one back from the United States. A rancid five-day old hamburger was pulled out from a diplomatic envelope labeled "Top Secret" — at the time it took five days to travel between China and the US — and everyone took a bite.