The Hanging of Sam Poo – 2022

Mixed media sculpture – Stone, dead tortured witch hazel tree, leather riempie(thong), string, old metal hook, dilapidated antique Chinese doll

Sam Poo was a Chinese Bushranger (highwayman) who operated in the Central West of NSW until his apprehension in 1865. He was sentenced to be hanged for the murder of  a NSW policeman Trooper John Ward and executed at the Bathurst Gaol in December 1865.

The stone acts as a stabilizing counter weight to effect the hanging. The informality of this hanging is more akin to a lynching than a State sanctioned execution.

In the current political atmosphere in Australia our leaders are now vilifying or ‘hanging’ the Chinese. This is the latest variation of targeting the “other’ and is implemented in Australia to, not only meet the needs of an inherent racism, but also to appease the USA whose ideology is directed against the rising power of the Chinese government.