Hello My Name is Exhibit A

201-19, Oil on Italian Linen, 60 x 50cm

Finalist, 2015 Nilumbuk Art Prize

So high was the infant mortality rate in ancient China that a newborn was only named one month after birth - a custom that continues to this day.

However believing in vindictive gods whom might take the child if they were aware of its existence, some parents would withhold the actual name longer. To hide the identity of their child they would give the baby a temporary false (or “milk”) name like, say, Little Piglet. 

Under the Maoists names were somewhat prosaic. A store may be called Department Store 1, and a second child simply called Son 2. 

And with the terracotta warriors a now big business, this favourite son is Exhibit A.