At the age of fifteen, Ju Ming began learning what would be the foundation of his technical skills when he was apprenticed to Lee Chin-chuan, a master woodcarver from the Temple of the Empress of Heaven. Ju Ming ran a highly successful studio in his twenties but his real passion lay in developing his own oeuvre. Ju Ming took up another practice of Taoism, taichi. Ju Ming developed greatly from this practice and started thinking about sculpting works on the theme of the practice. Yet more than simply capturing a physical stance, the process of both artists is indelibly linked to their practice. Much as an actor gets ‘into character’ in preparing for a role, Ju Ming is said to have practiced tai chi boxing whilst creating his Taichi series.
I hope you will enjoy this exhibition which brings together works from the studio and private collections as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. – Emily de Wolfe Pettit