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Figuring out the human soul

Updated: 2019-05-30 08:33:15

( China Daily )

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Christina Acidini (left), president of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno (Academy of the Arts of Drawing), and Wu jointly unveil A Dialogue Across the Time.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The artist also depicts heartfelt moments in people's day-to-day lives through sculptures that show sleeping children and intimacy between mothers and their offspring.

The largest piece on show rises up to 7 meters and the smallest one is no more than 6 centimeters in height.

"I've been doing sculptures for nearly four decades. My progress from a student of art to a teacher, a sculptor, a researcher and a participant in China's cultural exchanges with the international community coincides with the advancing course of China's reform and opening-up," Wu tells China Daily.

"Over the years, my work has been centered around China and the luminaries of Chinese history, especially the intellectuals. Every one of these great men is a landmark to the hardships and glories of a nation and, together, they have shaped history."

Wu says he began sculpting prominent historic figures in the 1990s, out of respect for these who represent the consciousness of the nation.

He says that, at the time, he felt that many young people knew little about the scientists, artists, writers and thinkers, and "forgetting them means that one is ignorant of his nation's history, his people's contribution to human society and men's wisdom".

"For me, to sculpt these people is to build the monuments of history, ensuring that they are admired, valued and followed by young people."

As Wu's work began to strike a chord with Chinese people, his sculptures also began traveling to different countries to "allow the world to understand China, especially Chinese people's cultural values", he says.

On May 2, Wu's work A Dialogue Across the Time, which depicts Italian Renaissance polymath, Leonardo da Vinci, and modern Chinese artist, Qi Baishi, was unveiled at the 450-year-old Accademia delle Arti del Disegno (Academy of the Arts of Drawing) in Florence. The work was added to the academy's permanent collection in remembrance of the 500th anniversary of da Vinci's death. It also marked a ceremony at which Wu was enrolled as an honorary member of the academy.

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