The Emperor Arrives explores the Chinese Imperial dynasty’s legacy in the 21st century. Similar to The Emperor Arrives series made in China, both projects center on the theme of the masquerade. While the former project attempts a direct commentary of the Chinese society on the backdrop of Beijing’s increasing economic might, the latter provides a provocative and elegantly ironic study of shifting stereotypes that emphasizes on the borderline between reality and fantasy.
Donning a cheap replica of the imperial robe, the artist casts himself as the ultimate tourist in the ultimate tourist snapshots. Here, the difference is that each photograph and video is technically superb and intended to be, rejecting any idea of amateur endeavor. The artist/emperor becomes his own paparazzo, constructing an alternative persona that embodies an entire culture that is deeply rooted in ignorance and the stereotypical concept of Asian identity.