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Sculpture Artist Zhou Xuerong: Ten Years Of "Ingenuity" To Create A National Brand Wax Museum

June 27, 2020

Chinanews in Guangzhou at June 27

Reported by Cheng Jingwei

Wax Artist Zhou Xuerong

Photo taken by Jidong

Recently,the reporter went to Zhongshan, Guangdong, to interview Zhou Xuerong, the founder of the company Zhongshan Grand Orient Wax Art Co.,Ltd and the brand "WEI MU KAI LA" Wax Museum. She was leading a team to create a series of celebrity wax figures with the theme of Cantonese opera.

She said, "The Cantonese opera originate from Ling-nan culture, it's an important part of traditional Chinese culture. And we hope through the super-realistic visual media like wax figures, the charm of various famous Cantonese opera actors will be revitalized to the public." Zhou Xuerong the master of arts and crafts, who has been engaged in wax art creation for more than 20 years, said that she want through the exploration and innovation of wax art to carry forward the beauty of traditional Chinese culture.


Making color adjustments for wax figure of Qi Baishi

Photo taken by Jidon

As early as 1999, Zhou Xuerong began to explore the creation of wax figures. Today, the team has grown from a few people to more than 50. They have created more than 600 wax figures.

Entering the Zhongshan Grand Orient Wax Art Experience Hall, you can see the scientists Yuan Longping, the painters Qi Baishi and Picasso, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, etc, they all seemed to be "traveled" in an instant, neatly displayed in the museum, it makes you difficult to distinguish between true and false.

The wax figure is a super-realistic sculptural media in the style of "stereoscopic photography". It is understood that the material of wax figure is more suitable than ordinary sculpture to restore the visual texture of the object and motif. The characters it creates can give people a sense of "cloning" visually, and not only have a strong aesthetic appreciation, it also has a unique function that can restore the stories of historical figures more realistic.

She said that to make a realistic wax figure, you need to go through the data collection in the early stage of production, the dynamic planning and design of the modeling, the complex parts of sculpture, remodeling, coloring, and hair planting in the middle stage, the overall adjustment of space, lighting, clothing and environment and other design. It takes several months to complete.

"Each process needs to be completed by experienced craftsmen, such as sculptors, moulders, make-up artists, hair planters, etc," She said that each segmentation part needs to be unified in the final overall visual sense of the wax figure. To achieve the ultimate goal of wax figure making.

Zhou Xuerong stood with the wax figures

Photo taken by Jidong

In the accumulation of long-term exploration and artistic creation experience, Zhou Xuerong summed up the concept of "visual DNA". She believes that wax figures, as a visual media, like other visual arts, they all have tried to convey the "realistic" of the object through its material properties. Compared with the two-dimensional space of painting, the three-dimensional space of traditional sculpture, and the modern photography and Multimedia art, they all use machines to convey the restoration of shapes and textures. The material media and art forms of wax figures can integrate the various relationships of space, texture and shape very well, especially can reach the "DNA level" in the visual "realistic" experience.

She said, at present, in the production of wax figures, not only the skin texture, wrinkles, flecks, moles, scars, hair and the other textures of the wax figures are almost the same as real person, and the effect of "deceptive" is achieved, but also the character and demeanor of the figures, the temperament and even professional identity can be clearly presented.

"The Artist" is one of her masterpieces. It took more than one year to create with the motif of the well-known contemporary super-realistic painter Leng Jun. She stated that the hair, costumes, glasses, chairs, brushes, etc. are all taken from Leng Jun himself, which makes the meaning of the figure transcend the semantic boundary of the wax figure's pure visual "realistic" and to acquire the deeper concepts of "visual DNA".

In her artistic conception, an excellent wax figure should have a temperature of life beyond the visual "realistic" semantic field, and it must be able to touch people's hearts. "The wax figure without the temperature of life and the soul it would be just a specimen," she said.     




Works exhibited at Zhongshan Grand Orient Wax Art display room

Photo taken by Jidong

As one of the earliest institutions engaged in wax figure creation in China, it has set up celebrity wax museums in Malaysia, Canton Tower, Gulangyu Island, Changsha and other places at home and abroad. They have been welcomed by tourists from all over the world and become tourist spots, that must-have place for leisure, entertainment and education.

"Our waxworks are comparable to the highest level of wax figure production institutions abroad, both in terms of artistic thoughts or technical materials." She said that the world-renowned Madame Tussauds has a history of more than two hundred years. The commercial operation of its brand is indeed unique. As the wax museum opened by the Chinese, it should focus on highlighting its own cultural and national characteristics based on reference and absorption.

She said, "as a waxwork artist, my dream is to make the wax museum into a national brand wax museum in China, and tell the 'Chinese story' of the new era."

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