The piece above is based upon Sir Robert Hart's 1876 journal entry reading "[T]he country [China] begins to feel that the government consented to arrangements by which China has lost face ; The officials have long been conscious that they are becoming ridiculous in the eyes of the people." This joirnal entry documents the first usage of the term "to lose face" in English.
The painting explores subjects of cultural loss, making references to the Opium Wars, the Japanese military's war crimes in China, the Communist regime, the lifestyle of the former bourgeois class and the isolation of HongKong from the mainland and the creation of a national identity crisis.
Translation for the Chinese sign above (R to L): Nang Kee. Founded in 1962. 能記 is the restaurant my maternal grandparents opened together in Hong Kong.