“Robots & Monsters: 4 Seasons in China”
These are all from a cool crowd-sourcing project carried out by Joe Alterio and his wife in four campaigns between 2007-11. Joe and other artists would take three words that you suggested and create a “Robot” or a “Monster” (all of these are archived at http://robotsandmonsters.org), as well as some information about the charitable causes they used the money for. Over 5 years, they created about 650 creatures and raised over 50K for their designated causes. The idea was lovely. I participated in four of the campaigns. All robots. In the 2009 campaign, I went for the seasons of the year with Chinese allusions.
The first robot (above) is named “SeeSeeTeeVee.” The three words were “Moon, Beijing, Autumn” (the big October holiday is the Fall Festival, and it is the one were you eat mooncakes). The inside joke here is that the shape of the robot is based on the distinctive architecture of the CCTV (China Central Television) building in Beijing.
The next robot is named “Faxian.” The three words were “Buddhist, Tibet, Winter.” Faxian is a historical figure; he visited India in the early fifth century AD. He is said to have walked all the way from China across icy desert and rugged mountain passes. He took back with him Buddhist texts and images sacred to Buddhism.
The next robot is named “Yan-Wow.” The three words were “Fireworks, China, Spring.” The celebration of the Lunar New Year is called Spring Festival, and although actual fireworks have been curtailed throughout Asia because of the pollution, there is still plenty of noise. YanHua is the Mandarin word for fireworks.
And that brings us to the summer. The three words here were “Xi’an, Summer, and Warrior.” Xi’an is the city where the terra-cotta warriors are located. These are part of the extended subterranean necropolis that the first Chinese Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, had built. When I think of stinking hot summer weather, I think of Xi’an.