The Chinese have learned English from his speeches and celebrated the way he rolls up his sleeves. Now President Barack Obama is finally coming, and he’s being greeted with “Oba Mao” T-shirts and a statue of him that bursts into flames.

Sunday’s arrival of a U.S. president admired for his charisma is already a source of profit and brief fame for some Chinese. Strangest is the burning Obama, tucked away in a Beijing warehouse. Artist Liu Bolin hopes Obama can take time from his visit to drop by. “He’s so hot right now, so I wanted to translate that through my work,” said Liu, who was inspired by the idea of the first black U.S. president.

The bronze Obama bust is modeled on Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” cover and is speckled with holes for gas that ignites every couple of minutes.obama_chairman_oba_mao_flyer-p2444677450025353522pafb_210

It’s a positive work, Liu said.

“Yes, setting something on fire can have negative connotations, but this piece represents energy and life that Obama has given to the world,” said the 38-year-old, who made a similar piece for former revolutionary leader Mao Zedong. “We’re eager to see what he can do for China and U.S. relations.”

I wonder if the Chinese people get that comparing the President to Mao might make some here squeamish?

  1. Jägermeister says:

    #27 – soundwash

    Bush gave the Chinese an American spy plane, which they reverse engineered and returned back to the USA, in pieces.

  2. Dallas says:

    He is truly a world leader. In fact, Nobel Prize winner! The clever cartoon above surely amused the sheeple but anything to lift their spirits is fine with me.

    Still, proud to have such a popular president on a such a broad scale in these difficult time. He is a threat to all the tyrants and bigots.

  3. The Aberrant says:

    I’m surprised no one’s quite mentioned yet how a statue of a burning black man might not go over too well with some parts of the U.S. (although I’m sure there’s plenty in the South who wouldn’t mind a lynching of this particular “boy”.) I guess they mean well, but this seems a bit bizarre.

    As for the Mao/Obama comparisons… I’m not really seeing it. I guess they both have a cult of personality built around them. (Ironically, now that I think about it, the right’s constant ludicrous attacks, as well as posters like the above, only help to contribute to said cult.) But pretty much every great world leader has had a cult of personality built around them – that’s kinda how you lead massive amounts of people. (Notably, I use the word “great” here to mean a more Nietzschean conception of “great”, being ‘powerful’ and ‘historically important’, not necessarily “good”.)

  4. Toxic Asshead says:

    In his heart of hearts, bHo is a tyrant. He hides in the cloak of left-wing radical. To the public he tries to pretend to be moderate.

  5. Dallas says:

    #34. Very poetic, Asshead but seemingly you conservatives like to speak in some generalized opinion you attempt to pass off as fact.

    Is this an official statement from the “Conservative Society for Saving the Children of Earth and All Things Beautiful” ?

  6. HJG says:

    Well, given Mao’s immense popularity and status of near-divinity (have you seen those portraits of him hanging from rear-view mirrors of cabs and trucks that are supposed to protect the driver on the road), Obama should feel appreciated. But of course, no one is going hang his picture up for protection against bad luck and evil spirits. So you Americans should relax.


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