Ju Ming was born in Miaoli, in northern Taiwan, in 1937. Starting at age 15, Ju served as an apprentice to the master craftsman Lee Chin-chuan, who had come to his hometown to help renovate the Matsu shrine there. From Lee, Ju learned the technique of carving religious figures in wood. When he completed his apprenticeship at 20 years old, Ju Ming traveled around Taiwan for the next decade, carving Buddhist images and rustic village scenes.
At the age of 31, Ju became a student of the famous Taiwanese sculptor Yuyu Yang. The master encouraged him to worry less about refining his carving techniques, and to focus more on capturing and transmitting the spirit of the subject. Yang also encouraged him to practice Tai Chi, which would become a major theme in Ju’s work.
Ju has exhibited internationally in galleries, museums, and public spaces in Asia, the United States, and Europe. In 2004, the sculptor completed the Ju Ming Museum, located in the mountains of Taipei. More than one thousand sculptures by the artist are displayed in a park-like setting and in museum buildings.
This larger than life bronze sculpture depicts a faceless Tai Chi practitioner in a basic pose known as Single Whip. The artist, Ju Ming, studied Tai Chi Chuan, the Chinese martial art that originated nearly 1,000 years ago, and has sometimes been described as moving meditation. Tai Chi exercises are designed to develop harmony between the body and the mind, and the individual and the universe. The spirit of Tai Chi Single Whip presents contrasting, yet complimentary, elements—the cold, hard nature of bronze contrasted with the grace and controlled movements of the figure.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
ABOUT THE SCULPTURE
Tai Chi Single Whip, 1998
84″ x 109″ x 43″
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