Ju Ming was born 1938 in Tunghsiao, Miaoli. His official name was Ju Chuang-tai. In 1950, his father apprenticed him to Lee Chin-chuan to study woodcarving and painting. In 1961, Ju Ming set up the Ocean Engraving Society to help promote engraving. One of his works was awarded a distinction in the sculpture section of the Provincial Art Exhibition in 1966, and he won second prize in 1967. He quit his job and travelled to Taipei to study modern sculpture under Yu-yu Yang, from which time he moved away from craft engraving and adopted a fine art style. His first solo exhibition was held in the National History Museum in 1976. Praised by art critics, his nativist works were a hit, and he became an important symbol of the Nativist Movement in the 1970s. Also in 1976, he became one of the 14th Ten Outstanding Young Persons and received the 2nd National Award for Arts. Ju Ming did not rest on his laurels however, abandoning nativist subjects and instead working on his Taichi series, which won international acclaim, helping him to become one of the most significant postwar Taiwanese sculptors.
Produced while Ju Ming was striving for breakthroughs in his art, this early 1970s work is an important example of his first forays into modern art sculpture. Although the subject is traditional and the form is realist, the knife work is very energetic. The piece represents a departure from legacy works of religious idols, showing an animated Kuan Kung with an unusual bearing and forthright demeanor.
Sculpture was largely ignored as an art form in Taiwan during Japanese occupation. The Provincial Art Exhibition only gained a sculpture section after the Second World War. Traditional sculptures of figures remained popular and little progress was seen even during the 1950s modern art movement. It was not until 1975 that a group of young sculptors including Ju Ming brought together by Yu-yu Yang began experimenting in modern sculpture. Although Ju Ming’s background was in traditional woodcarving, with guidance from Yu-yu Yang in modern art ideas, he created a new vocabulary of modern sculpture with his solid forms and refined techniques. He was a continuous innovator; with his Taichi and Living World series creating pieces with profound cultural meaning that bridged real life and sculpture with their depictions of modern life. His was a unique, modern, diverse and animated style that brought about a new direction for Taiwanese sculpture.
|English title：||A Wood Sculpture of Lord Guan|
|Medium / Classification：||Sculpture|
|Collection Unit：||Collection of the National Museum of History|
|Contact method for authorization：||
Agent (Lin Jing-En)
National Museum of history
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1931-1940|
|Related Work：||Gossiping Cross Arms Taichi Series|