像兵马俑一般 LIKE A TERRACOTTA ARMY
Like a Terracotta Army
When I was standing face to face with that mighty host of terracotta warriors in Xian, little did I realise that, some years later, I myself would be forming figures in clay and, in doing so, replicating the process by which I believe this ancient army was conjured forth.
I use just one single mould for virtually all of my characters, pressing the clay into it to create a prototype. I then work each of these figures individually. It's a fairly simple process, in other words. Much like the way in which we humans are created. Very much so.
I change the shape of the hollows between the eyes and nose. Some of the figures are given deep concavities, others have none at all. Some have cupid's bow lips, others don't. Basically, it's quite rational as a creative system. What I aiming to do is to breathe individuality into each and every face - although the idea of forming these figures to epitomise a particular age, gender or ethnicity never enters my mind.
Anyway, I was at my workbench in Jingdezhen one day when I had this sudden eureka moment! Of course, this must have been how they, too, were created. All those terracotta soldiers. In a way, the process shares something in common with how real-life soldiers are also formed. That work, however, is the direct opposite of my own creative endeavours.