Gandhi ji had a statue of three monkeys in three different postures. One was shutting his mouth with his hands, the other was shutting his ears similarly and the third one had put hands on his eyes. A visitor to his house became curious and questioned Gandhi ji about the various postures of the monkeys. Gandhi ji politely replied, ‘The one shutting his mouth tells us that we should not speak ill of any body. The one shutting his ears tells us that we should not hear the ill of any body. And the one shutting his eyes tells us that we should not see the ills of any body. If we do so, we will have all goodness and nothing but goodness.’
This is just one of many stories about the three monkeys mizaru (see no evil, 見猿), kikazaru (hear no evil, 聞か猿) and iwazaru (speak no evil 言わ猿), whose first dated representation is attributed to a carving found in Nikko Japan in 1636 AD.
In creating my installation of the Three Monkeys I chose to have them mounted on cracked stone slabs showing the virtue as broken. I used an old rusted fence as s mount over pictures of the people places and thing we all choose not to see everyday; poverty, crime, war, hate...you get the picture. And from the response Id say the message of the monkeys is still strong.