Born 1987, Kaiyuan, Liaoning

“Life comes from the earth and returns to the earth, endlessly,” the artist says—hence the title of his clay sculpture series Dust to Dust. It was inspired by his reflections on the cycle of life and death, which for human beings is “the inescapable problem”, he says. The Girl with a Smile (2013) is a former girlfriend, the Cat (2013) is his pet. “All my works are closely related to my everyday life,” he says. He wanted the works to evoke ancient Buddhist statues and the terracotta warriors of Xi’an, but left them unfired so they would “die”, crack, and eventually crumble into dust.

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