Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Ju Ming's Taichi Series Exhibition at Singapore Botanic Gardens


The very 1st time I saw a sculpture of the world-acclaim Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming was on 31 Jan 2009 in HK. Instead of the whole series, I saw just a solo Taichi figure in Exchange Square in HK where I looked for a place for a coffee break.

The Exchange Square also installed other sculptures by world renown sculptors like Henry Moore and Elizabeth Frank. I remember how much I was impressed and appreciated this taichi piece even though I had no idea who Ju Ming was. Imagine how delighted I was when I discover that this is just one in a series, and I can see all of them in the Botanic Gardens.

Taichi figure installed at The Forum in Exchange Square  in Central, Hong Kong
Taichi figure installed at The Forum in Exchange Square, Central, Hong Kong

His various works have been exhibited around the world from NYC, London, Berlin, Japan, HK, and of course Singapore.

This Taichi Series is now being exhibited in Botanic Gardens started in 17 Jan and finishes in 16 April.

Ju Ming sculpture, Taichi Series Ju Ming sculpture, Taichi Series

While this taichi figure is very similar to the one I saw in HK, there're noticeable differences as they're not manufactured replicas (3D printers aren't so readily available just yet. For now, they're limited to printing human ears and cakes). For one thing, the right hand in the HK piece had disappeared completely. You could say the subtle differences make the Singapore exhibit more abstract.

Having seen all of the figures in the Taichi Series, I still like this one the best. Perhaps because it has achieved an almost perfect blending of dynamism and balance in visual form, which reflects the the underlying principle of the taichi move that the sculpture tries to embody: the counter-balance of the Yin and Yang, up and down, high and low, substance and void.

Perhaps, this is why the Forum picked this pose out of the lot.

Ju Ming sculpture, Taichi Series
The guy on the left got kicked senseless in the head. Ouch!

This is another one of my favourite. While the 2 figures merged to form a single piece of sculpture of an arch. We still able to discern that they're consisted of 2 martial artists in a fight: one kicks the other in the head (ok, he may have blocked it with his hand). Again, there's a consummate balance between fluidity and the dynamism of the form.

Ju Ming sculpture, Taichi Series Ju Ming sculpture, Taichi Series

These 2 are painted bright yellow and smaller than than most of the other figures.


Ju Ming sculpture, Taichi Series

Like Ju Ming, I dabbled in Taichi, albeit a long time ago. From what I can recollect, this is the starting move of Yang style Taijiquan.

Ju Ming sculpture, Taichi Series
West vs East exercises, Flesh vs Figure, Rectilinear vs Arched, Unison vs Complimentary


Singapore has a love affair with Ju Ming's artworks, and you will find his artworks being installed at various venues in Singapore. To read about it  




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