In the months leading up to Shanghai’s World Expo, much of the city was completely covered in bamboo scaffolding.
Some of the most famous buildings were unrecognizable, and others had their entrances blocked off by a constant traffic of workers, wheelbarrows, and trucks. Entire staircases were thrown up five stories high in a matter of days along the outside of a building, exactly like fire escapes of New York City – except made of bamboo. The images served as inspiration for "Fluttering in Xishuangbanna", a traditional paper cut of four tall bamboo trees standing on islands of rocks.
To bring out the bamboo stalks and details of the leaves that break the plane at the top of the square, only utterly necessary sections of the sheet of rice paper are carefully removed, with minimum disruption to the purity of the pale beige color. Thin strips of paper remain to hold the image together, as sections of the bamboo stalks widen gently as they connect.
Bamboo has long served Eastern countries through its strength as scaffolding to support their developing societies and cultures. The subject of bamboo is referred to as the ladder which brings China up into the 21st Century, into the world of modernity in economy, infrastructure and art. Two LED butterflies drift within the image as electrified reproductions of traditional symbols, which Liu Dao uses as a call to the brightness in China’s future. The LED network also represents a new ladder of multiple dimensions that connects different levels of human minds, platforms and perspectives. [Pete Bradt]