Teachers and students of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts walked into the Grand Orient wax figure production site

November 22, 2023

Wax figure is a hyper realistic sculpture art, also known as "three-dimensional photography". It is created according to the 1:1 ratio of the creative prototype. Due to the characteristics of hyper realism, wax figure works are often exactly the same as the character prototype.


Wax figures pursue verisimilitude, not only to restore the characters’ true appearance and expression but also to express their psychological activities. The character is often a complete individual and has a "story".


Teachers and students from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts visit

Recently, teachers and students from the Sculpture Department of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts visited the wax figure production company, Zhongshan Grand Orient Wax Figure Art Co., Ltd.


There are 36 teachers and students from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts visiting this time, led by Secretary Liu Yanping, Dean Zhang Xian and two teachers. They were received by Mr. Liu Zhen and Ms. Zhou Xuerong, the founders of Grand Orient, who led the teachers and students to visit the wax figure works, explained the wax figure production process, and introduced the story of Grand Orient.


In the field of sculpture, the pursuit of hyper realism is inseparable from the faithful reproduction of proportions, features, bones, muscles, skin, hair, blood vessels, wrinkles, stains, etc., creating a sense of reality similar to that of human beings.


During the academic exchange during this visit, Dean Zhang Xian, Professor Zheng Min of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, and Ms. Zhou Xuerong from Grand Orient conducted academic exchanges on hyper realistic creation.


Dean Zhang Xian has taught in the Sculpture Department of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts for 13 years and has rich teaching experience. The Sculpture Department of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts is the only department among professional art academies in the country that offers hyper realistic sculpture courses and has achieved fruitful teaching results. It has participated in various exhibitions and course competitions on behalf of the college and department many times. The 2014 book "Hyper realistic Sculpture" was published by Lingnan Fine Arts Publishing House. This book filled the gap in the lack of teaching materials in this field of domestic art education.


Professor Zheng Min is famous for his realistic figure sculptures. He graduated from the Sculpture Department of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2007 and now teaches at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. His representative works include "The Statue of Wang Xiaobo".


Zhou Xuerong is the founder of Grand Orient Wax Figure Art Co., Ltd., the founder of the Chinese brand" WeiMuKaiLa" wax museum, the art director of the Chinese Great Man Wax Museum, and a master of arts and crafts in Zhongshan. Representative works of wax figures include "The Artist", "In-Laws", "Traveler", etc.


Watch the entire wax figure creation process

Creating a wax figure is not a simple matter. It takes thousands of carvings to create a super-realistic wax figure. Next, let us take a look at the whole process of making a wax figure.


1. Tailor-made link

A difference of millimeters can make a difference of a thousand miles. Tailor-made data is an indispensable and important reference in the creation process of wax figures. Tailor-made clothing requires the person to accept data collection in the most realistic state, with clothing as close to the body as possible and makeup as simple as possible.


The entire tailoring process usually takes at least 2 hours, which involves steps such as measuring, taking photos, donating clothing, making handprints, taking hair samples, matching eyes and teeth, and taking signatures.


During the tailoring process, the photographer used different camera lenses and lighting to take more than 200 photos of people's dynamic expressions from every angle. Among them, dozens of head and body measurements will be used to provide the wax museum's sculptors with accurate creations. In addition, you must also collect basic information about the relevant people, life experiences, pictures and video materials of various age groups. The clearer and more detailed, the better.


Based on the information found, determine the character's dynamics, expressions, charm, and the artistic conception you want to express. Then select the ones that best express the character's personality traits and demeanor and have the greatest reference value, and classify them for reference. Because what we pursue is not only "shape", but also "spirit", and we can feel the characters' stories and warmth from the wax figures.


2. Sculpture session

The vividness of wax figures starts with the most basic clay sculpture. Clay sculpture is a process in which the sculptor turns flat photo data into three-dimensional form. Each clay head sculpture takes 3 months and must be reviewed and revised many times to meet the high requirements of "both form and spirit".


Not only are they experts at sculpting, but they also need to have knowledge of anatomy! Make sure every bone, muscle, and tendon is accurately replicated, depending on the wax figure's pose. Therefore, when sculpting the head and body in clay, the sculptor refers to the data measured during the fitting process and the photos taken.


The sculptor will calculate the size and proportion of the clay manuscript we are going to make based on the character's height and body characteristics and determine how big it should be to build a good skeleton. When starting to put on the clay, you must first ignore the details and stack the head frame so that the spatial structure is accurate.


After the body structure is accurate, add some surface details to make it more vivid. Returning to the overall adjustment stage, it is necessary to observe problems from multiple angles and then make corrections. Let’s go back to our original intention to adjust the character’s micro-expressions and demeanor in detail. After the desired effect is achieved, the skin texture is sculpted to make it more complete.


3. Mold turning process

After the clay draft is completed, casting and opening the mold are the most critical steps. The body and head are injected with different materials. The head is made of soft wax to facilitate subsequent hair implantation, and the body is made of harder material to withstand countless repeated touches.


4. Hair transplantation link

Hair samples are taken during the measurement and carefully matched to the real hair texture. It takes 7–15 days to implant the hair and eyebrows of a wax figure. Craftsmen use special tools to implant the hairs into the head of the wax figure one by one.


WeiMuKaiLa's visual DNA wax figure works are even more advanced. Taking "The Artist" as an example, the hair of the wax figure comes from the artist himself, Mr. Leng Jun himself. This is the amount of hair he "saved" for two months and finally contributed to WeiMuKaiLa. "Transplanted" onto a wax figure of himself.


5. Making eyes and teeth

The eyeball color will be matched during the measurement. Just choosing one eyeball requires comparing dozens of different specimens until the color and shape are the same. Each eyeball is crafted in resin and replicates all features. For example, the iris of the eyeball and the texture of each small blood vessel are different, and no two eyeballs are exactly the same.


The teeth will be accurately restored with resin and color-matched based on the tooth model obtained in advance, and the teeth will be colored.

6. Costume accessories

The wax figure's stylist will prepare the wax figure's costumes based on extensive research. WeiMuKaiLa has its own costume and prop room, which has everything you need. Each wax figure will be equipped with corresponding clothing; ironing marks will be arranged; and the entire team will carefully dress the wax figure and assemble all accessories.


When wax figure costumes cannot be donated, the costume team will collect numerous materials very carefully to find suitable costumes and accessories.


7. Wax figure completed

Finally, the head and hands of the wax figure will be installed on the body of the figure, and the corresponding costumes will be put on. Before the wax figures are shipped to various wax museums, they will be recorded in photos in a studio.


In terms of the scene design of the wax museum, WeiMuKaiLa also has its own unique language, integrating innovative scene design of sound, light and electricity to create an immersive wax figure art sensory experience.


The above is the whole process of making wax figures. Only through complicated and complex craftsmanship and skilled craftsmen can this lifelike wax figure be born.


Grand Orient Wax Figure Art

Grand Orient is one of the earliest institutions in China engaged in wax figure art creation. It is also the first wax figure institution in China to have authorized wax figures of many celebrities. For more than 20 years, Grand Orient has been adhering to the creative concept that "we create not just a wax figure but also a spirit", and has created its own brand, "WeiMuKaiLa," with Chinese national characteristics.


Founder Zhou Xuerong has been engaged in the research and creation of wax figures for more than 20 years. Every wax figure created by her team is integrated with true feelings and love, and she has also created a series of" visual DN"  wax figures that go beyond the purity of wax figures. The requirement of visual verisimilitude has opened up more possibilities for wax works.


Since its development, Grand Orient has had a professional team with rich experience, ingenuity and creativity and has cooperated and exchanged with famous art academies such as the Central Academy of Fine Arts and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, establishing a strong R&D and creative resources platform.


Currently, Grand Orient has created more than 700 wax figures, and its works can be found in museums, wax museums, and exhibition halls around the world. As one of the earliest institutions engaged in wax figure creation in China, Grand Orient's wax museum brand, "WeiMuKaiLa," has currently established celebrity wax museums in Selangor, Malaysia, Canton Tower, Gulangyu Island in Xiamen, Lhasa, Tibet and other places at home and abroad. It has been well received. It has been welcomed by tourists from all over the world and has become a must-have place for tourism, leisure, entertainment and education.


Grand Orient Wax Art has brought Chinese wax art creation to a whole new level with a craftsman spirit of doing one thing to perfection. It has been highly recognized by all walks of life and won awards from Yuan Longping, Yang Liwei, Lang Lang, Zhang Jizhong Nearly a hundred outstanding representatives from China and the world in various fields have authorized the creation of wax figures and entered the" WeiMuKaiLa" wax museum owned by Grand Orient.

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