Tung Ming-Chin, a Taiwanese artist, is a master at transforming wood into melancholy expressive sculptures. As the viewer travels around his polished sculptures they gradually change presenting surprises. His sculptures frequently depict figures trapped within the wood pressing against the outside layer in an attempt to break free and frequently deal with issues of interior emotion and the subconscious mind.

“Inner Turmoil”

Breath is a metaphor for “the transformation of a physical space into an inner psychological space affected by vision,” according to his 2013 work. Legs gradually extend out from behind the wooden humps, which nearly emerge from boxes like tortoise shells leading the visitor to consider the mystery trapped within. The artist converts wood into thin tissue paper affixed to a wall in Inner Turmoil. A human is pushing against the barrier from within, testing the limits of the space. The figure’s negative and positive space can be interpreted as a tool to examine his inner turmoil.

Other sculptures, such as Between Round and Square: Past, Present, and Future, make use of well-known cultural motifs. Ming-Chin plays with the classic jade Cong and jade bi shapes, which in ancient Chinese culture symbolized earth and sky. He can play on nostalgia while looking to the future by adopting these familiar forms.

“The work is presented in the prismatic form; the appearance of the object demonstrates the passing of time,” he commented “The bottom of the pillar lays the ancient jade Cong and the plastic bottle sits on the top. The hidden part in the middle implies the development and imagination of squares and round overtime in the past. On the body of the pillar are mostly utensils, and from the utensils, we can see the change of times and the lifestyle of people. Time passes and people change, but some truth and aesthetics will last forever.”

Figures caught in space are frequently depicted in Tung Ming-wood Chin’s sculptures as metaphors for interior feelings.

“Breath”
“Breath”
“The Birth of a New Hero”
“The Birth of a New Hero”

In addition, the Taiwanese artist experiments with classic Chinese shapes.

“Between Round and Square: Past, Present, and Future”
“Between Round and Square: Past, Present, and Future”

The young sculptor has received widespread appreciation for his mastery of polished wood.

“Changes Inside the Forest”
“New Lonely”
“New Lonely”
“A Stack of Heads”
“Self-Portrait”
“Self-Portrait”
“Self-Portrait”