Li Xiangqun (b.1961)
This bust captures Mo Wei, the wife of the artist, in bronze. This slender portrait… exudes a sense of grace and calm.
Li Xiangqun is one of China’s leading figurative sculptors and was born in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China in 1961. He graduated from Lu Xun Art Academy of Fine Arts in 1982, becoming a teacher at the school, and going on to obtain his master’s degree in sculpture from Lu Xun Art Academy in 1990. Xiangqun then went on to become a professor at the graduate sculpture school of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing until 2000, when he transferred to teach in the sculpture department of the Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University. In 2003 Xiangqun founded the Zero Art Museum, a modern and contemporary art gallery in the 798 art zone in Beijing.
Since 1982 he has exhibited extensively throughout China, as well as exhibiting internationally in Japan, Korea, Paris, and London. Xiangqun has been the recipient of various prizes in China, and his works can be seen in numerous public Chinese collections, including the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. Notable works of his outside of China include Relay Racer and Eternal Movement, residing at the International Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. Xiangqun has been a member of the Society of Portrait Sculptors here in London since 2009, and this portrait bust, Mo Wei, was the winner of the Society of Portrait Sculptors award in 2011.
This bust captures Mo Wei, the wife of the artist, in bronze. The almond shape of her face is accentuated by her elongated neck; this sense of length further accentuated in her gently sloping narrow shoulders. This slender portrait thus exudes a sense of grace and calm. Her hair pulled back into a chignon, along with her focused eyes, long nose, and gently pursed lips, grant her delicate features a quiet strength reminiscent of renaissance and later Italian and continental portrait sculpture. The handling of her moulding and the mottled colour of the metal from which she is cast give Mo Wei a soft, tactile quality as if she has been moulded from clay. The fact that she is cast in metal thus contrasts with her delicate sense of grace and calm.