ARTIST Liu Dao 六岛
MEDIA RGB LED display, oil painting on plexiglass, paper collage, teakwood frame
DATE Made in island6, Shanghai 2013
SIZE 103.5(W)×103.5(H)×9(D) cm | 49(W)×49(H)×3.5(D) inches
CREDITS Nick Hersey (painting) • Thomas Charvériat (art direction & technical guidance) • Fabrice Amzel (production assistant) • Jean Le Guyader (documentation) • Guan Yan 官彦 (production supervisor) • Yeung Sin Ching 杨倩菁 (production assistant) • Loo Ching Ling 吕晶琳 (video)
During World War 1, Furphy’s galvanised iron water carts on wheels would drive between camps providing Australian soldiers with drinking water. The arrival of these carts would bring a gathering of soldiers where news could be exchanged and it was said that the Furphy cart drivers would bring gossip and news from other camps giving rise to the slang term “Furphy” which means false rumour or report. The modern day workplace is a war ground within itself, a contest of office politics, bitter battles to the top and a ruinous sacrifice of personal life. The institution of the water cooler moment offers some respite to workers globally as they go about the front line of carving out careers and making money. Next year will be the centennial of World War 1 and the last 100 years has seen a huge technological advancement of our species which includes the evolution of the water dispenser from iron carts led by horse drawn carriages to a compact machine which is now able to dispense both ice cool or instantaneous hot water. Whilst we may have evolved technologically, socially we’re still the same creatures, partial to a bit of comforting news or gossip whilst we take a break from the battleground of work and life.