Luo Xiao-ping: Political Commentary in Clay

Born in 1960 in China and educated in Jingdezhen, Luo’s work documents the civil changes he has witnessed through the vehicle of sculptural ceramics. Upon forgoing a professorial role at the famous Tongji University in Shanghai Luo chose a career as a professional artist and founded a studio in Yixing as well as Arizona and divides his time between the two with his wife Junya Shao who is also a ceramic artist. Deeply rooted in the hand building techniques of Yixing, Luo acknowledges his own history and tradition and willfully steps outside of the conventions in both his treatment and firing methods of the Yixing clay. Luo is known primarily for his work involving the figure in some way or another and perhaps his most controversial work is his “Times Square” series. In this work he looks around the world and realizes that “Here, I can scoff at them, myself and the world.”  20 of the most powerful people in the world are each rendered about 2 feet in height and wearing traditional Chinese clothing. Osama Bin Laden stands next to Chairman Mao and Luo towers above them all.  The markings chosen for the clothing carry weight as well and are a humorous device in and of themselves. Representing as a whole world peace, the words are in stark contrast to actions of the figures portrayed. The depth of thought on this work is evident even in the title for the Luo describes not the Times Square of Ney York but rather “a political image spectrum installed on the Square of Time”. Luo “[invites us] to Times Square with my qualification of an artist, put down the weapons required to stop the conflict and terrorism.”

Luo Xiao-Ping with Times Square Series