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Guanyin both man and woman

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One could easily imagine that the enormous effort and all the complications involved in the making of a large-scale sculpture would frighten me, and hence I would devote myself to miniatures from now on. However, that was not the case. The process from coiling to firing big things suits me perfectly. It is liberating for body and soul.

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In China, Guanyin is a goddess much like our Virgin Mary, but Guanyin is both a man and a woman at the same time and I found that fascinating. In these times we are currently living, women need to discover their male sides, just as males need to discover their female sides.

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Growing up with three brothers and a single mother who spent most of her time at work, I identified myself with my brothers, and actually it was not until I was eight years old when I fully realized that I was a girl and not a boy.

15Something quite peculiar happens to me each time I create a large woman with my bare hands. It is as if I get rid of insecurity and the need to hide or make myself smaller than I am. Here, bear witness of my own greatness standing side by side with my smallness.

My work is about human liberation.

Photo: Peng Hui Juan