Dr. Ginseng prescribes gifts

Pencil drawing on yellow paper of an art installation. There are Asian characters in the center, surrounded by shelves of packages.
Drawing by Grace of Qiren Hu’s American Ginseng

Choose a work in the gallery and write a careful description of it.

There is no light here except for the fluorescent glow of the neon installation. The entire space, my husband’s face is awash in a red warmth. In front of me stands a glass shelving display of ginseng, the desirable root made popular in China for its life-giving qualities. (OK, I lied, my husband is still on his way.)

Look at the work again from a different position in the gallery, and write another description.

The work is still dominated by the red glow and I can hardly see the ginseng boxes. The Chinese words read 真参不变 which roughly translates to “true ginseng never changes.” American, Chinese, premium, or inferior, the gift of ginseng implies the same good intention of long life and prosperity towards the recipient. That art of gift-giving is untouched by the forces of capitalism.

Give it a new title.

Dr. Ginseng prescribes gifts

—Grace on Qiren Hu’s American Ginseng

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