Confucius say: Do not make robot wise man

(Credit:
Rockbund Art Museum)

The Master said, “The superior man thinks of virtue; the small man thinks of comfort.”

No doubt Confucius knew it would be uncomfortable to be reincarnated as a humanoid robot in a cage full of monkeys. That must be the reason the ancient sage is gracing the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, China, with his presence.

I feel there is something to be learned here, but my iPod copy of “The Analects of Confucius” isn’t helping any.

Curated by Fumio Nanjo of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, the robot art installation is the work of Chinese performance and sculpture artist Zhang Huan and is titled “Q Confucius.”

(Credit:
Rockbund Art Museum)

The ongoing show opened in October with nine monkeys joining Confucius in the cage. The exhibition includes a massive silicone and steel sculpture of Confucius half-submerged in water and apparently breathing.

What precisely inspired Zhang to also build the gyrating Confucius No. 6 in the monkey cage (seen in the video below, without monkeys) is perplexing. The museum offers us the following nugget:

“The exhibition makes use of ‘Confucius’, a symbol representative of Eastern moral … [Read more]

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