Statue of suit-wearing dog sparks outcry in Chinatown
This statue is in the doghouse.
A 900-pound bronze sculpture of a natty canine in a business suit holding a red apple was set to be unveiled in the heart of Chinatown Thursday in time to ring in the Year of the Dog.
But those plans were scrapped after residents barked that it would be a desecration to the hallowed Kimlau Square, which honors fallen US service members of Chinese descent.
“This insulting image of a ‘Dog-Man’ has no place next to this sacred and solemn community site where we honor our community heroes,” groused local arts advocate Amy Chin, the organizer of an online petition that had 522 signatures as of Friday, the first day of the Lunar or Chinese New Year. “This is offensive in light of the long history of degrading caricatures of Chinese as dogeaters in American popular culture.”
The Chinatown Partnership commissioned world-famous husband-and-wife artists Gillie and Marc Schattner to create one of their signature sculptures for the installation. Their similar seven-foot-tall Paparazzi Dogman and Paparazzi Rabbitgirl were installed last summer in front of Midtown’s 1221 Avenue of the Americas to rave reviews.
“In Chinese tradition, when a dog enters a home it symbolizes the coming of good fortune. The Dogman will bring good fortune to all for the New Year!” trumpeted the Chinatown Partnership proposal. “The Dogman sculpture will be holding a beautiful red apple. Since 3 is a lucky number during the Year of the Dog, the apple will feature 3 leaves.”