Born in 1931 in Jackson, Ohio, Fletcher Benton relocated to San Francisco after graduating from Miami University in 1956.
In 1966 Fletcher started teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute and established himself as a primary figure in American kinetic art. He later focused on a style that became known as new constructivism, characterized by its reliance upon abstract form, color, line, texture, and shape (Neubert 2001).
In the early 1980s, Benton launched a series of works called Steel Watercolors. According to Benton, "you’ll see that there’s not too much that is defying gravity in an illogical way, where I’m counting on the strength of the weld to be ridiculous about the positioning of the geometry" (Benton 1989). Some of the Steel Watercolors are painted, such as China Moon (Benton, 1990), while others, such as China Moon II, are not.
China Moon II exemplifies Benton's interest in line from this period, containing several curved, straight, and zig-zagging shapes of varying volume. Views are encouraged to move around the scuplture and examine its shape from every angle.