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Oscar yi Hou (born Liverpool, UK, 1998). The Arm Wrestle of Chip & Spike; aka: Star-Makers, 2020. Oil on canvas, 55 1/2 × 43 in. (141 × 109.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Purchase gift of Scott Rofey and Olivia Song, 2021.45. © Oscar yi Hou. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum)

Oscar yi Hou on The Arm Wrestle of Chip & Spike; aka: Star-Makers

Listen to the artist describe the significance of certain symbols and language in this work.

Look closely at this painting and you will find a poem. 

When creating The Arm Wrestle of Chip & Spike; aka: Star-Makers, Oscar yi Hou incorporated words from a poem he had written on friendship—part of his larger practice to “embed and encode information through language fragments,” he said. 

The artist spoke to the origins of other words and symbols in this work, as well as the friendship and queer dynamic it portrays, in the audio below. 

Visit the Brooklyn Museum to view the painting in the American Art galleries on the fifth floor. See it soon, before portions of those galleries close to prepare for something big coming this fall.


Corinne Segal is Senior Digital Producer at the Brooklyn Museum.