H19 × W25 × D22
1993 (330 days)
How does one convey the lithe and graceful adroitness of a slender and elegant woman leisurely walking? How does one conceive an imaginative power beyond words? “Walking Woman” really uses a kind of artistic level, only beautiful, not salacious, and interesting way to reflect the inner mind. It is a purification of the inner mind, another kind of Buddhist practice to develop character. The mind is totally clean, and forms a more sublimated kind of admiration. Thereupon, a large solid block of boxwood is injected with an expression of emptiness; then is carved, hollowed and chiseled empty to capture the female body shape it ought to have. The body does not exist, but imagination exists, and the anesthetic beauty is limitlessly large in one’s imagination. Yes, it is a gorgeous pair of embroidered panties that are being worn, wrapped around a figure that is perfect: 24 by 36. Due to the amount the panties are twisted, one “sees” a pair of legs gracefully forming the action of walking. Due to the spherical area perfectly carved out, one “sees” the lines of a gorgeous derriere. Due to the folds of the thigh area, one “sees” the direction in which she is walking. There is no body, where is it? There is no face. Where is it? Emptiness manifests the ultimate degree of beauty. The beauty of what has not been seen is strikingly refreshing and makes one smile.
Under soft projection lighting, “Walking Woman” displays a sort of movie-like montage technique of interlocking space and time allowing the observer to seek where this youthful woman who once existed might be now. It makes the observer open up a limitless area of imagination without a trace of salaciousness; on the contrary, the emptiness and nothingness elicits understanding, much like the couplet seen by the character Baoyu in Dream of Red Mansions when dreaming about wandering around the realm of great fantasy: “When false acts as real, real is also false; when nothing is something, something is still nothing.” Enjoying this three-dimensional work is like watching the 8th art, a motion picture, with plenty of additional potential readings, how can that not be marvelous? Another aspect that is highly recommended is that the limitless possibilities of this boxwood have been exploited to produce the necessary appearance. The first is the cotton cloth of this pair of panties, which gives the appearance of pure cotton that feels soft and warm to the touch. Next is the triangular cross-stitching on the high-class elastic band at the top of the panties that has a slight thickness but conforms smoothly. Third, one cannot help but be astonished at the feeling of the stitching in the embroidered flowers, a lily with stem, with stamens and pistils matching perfectly, and petals open to the fullest extent. It is hard to imagine it being possible to sculpt wood to the degree of being able to depict the dense stitching and concavity of the embroidery thread in the manner of a Chinese painting. Even more spectacular is the extremely realistic appearance of French lace along the hem of the panties. The lace has three different kinds of appearances: 1) the soft transparent cloth of the lace, 2) the flower stitching at the end of the lace, and 3) and the dense thread patterns interlocking one flower with the next. Every thread is consistent on the inside and outside surfaces. Viewing it with the translucent surface lighted from the outside or sticking one’s head into the panties to admire them, it appears completely like a pair of very comfortable top-grade panties just bought in an undergarments department and worn while taking a leisurely walk, rather than a pair held in the hands or placed on the horizontal surface of a display counter. Regarding the duration of creating the work, getting the curve of the derriere right—just how round should it be to exude beauty? What kind of compression wrinkles are produced while walking? The degree to which the French lace hem conforms smoothly to young thighs—these are all matters the creator just use a craftsman’s mind and continual experimentation and refining to get right. All one can do is sigh in rapt admiration! Exhibitions ＊ 2007 National Center for Traditional Arts “Nationwide Wood Sculpture United Exhibition”
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