LIU DING

Hero, 2007, 3/8
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Hero, 2007

Hero, 2007, 3/8

white marble, black marble
210 x ø 30 cm


"The Hero" is one of my many investigations into the formation of popular tastes. It is a head portrait made of purely white marble and strictly following the Russian revolutionary realist tradition in sculpting that was introduced to Chinese academic art training in the 1950s and is still the primary model most sculpture students have to study in art academies in China. It's the standard approach to create large public monuments and socialist realist sculptures intended for party propaganda. Based on this model, to sculpt the head portrait of a heroic figure or a celebrity means to blow up the size of the head to 1.5 times of its life size and to highlight every facial feature through exaggeration, as a way to glorify his state of being. The head portrait is also set to look towards the right at an angle of 45 degrees. I created a heroic head sculpture using the same method, except that it is one of an anonymous person instead of a particular hero. In addition, I have deliberately placed this "Hero" sculpture in the outdoor for a long while until the sculpture was covered with bird shit and dirt, a defiant and ironic twist on our perception of the Hero.