Li Chen is recognized as one of the leading Chinese sculptors of his generation, and the work on offer, “Pure Land,” is the most significant work in his series entitled “Energy of Emptiness.” With an appreciative nod to Botero, the plump child depicted in the sculpture seems to float atop a mountain as though in a weightless, spiritual space. The imaginative massing of the work emphasizes this weightlessness; the small mountaintop hardly seems an adequate support for a child of such girth! The use of raw Chinese lacquer on bronze adds another improbable and intriguing dimension to “Pure Land,” a land in which heaviness and lightness are no longer opposites and levity is the only law.
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