An accidental style

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Han Fang's Naughty Children series is popular among collectors. His works are characterized by an exaggerated style which makes his clay characters comic, almost grotesque. [China Daily]
China: The Shandong artist's works are characterized by an exaggerated style which makes his clay characters comic, almost grotesque. For this reason, his works are often described as "caricature-style" clay sculptures. They celebrate individual character and physical features, and his male figures boast large feet, hands and lips while his female figures are buxom images with plump breasts and barrel hips. It was not always that way. Han, 40, says the crucial change came in 2003. "I was working on the finishing touches to the head of a clay figure. I had almost completed it when it slipped and fell from my hands. It struck the ground and I thought it would be out of shape." Han picked it up, and to his surprise, he saw that the facial features were still intact, but they had become exaggerated - and in a way that he liked very much. It was exactly what he had been looking for. That little bit of serendipity changed his life. In 2000, Han was still a businessman in Jinan, the Shandong capital. He was running an advertising agency with an annual turnover of about 300,000 yuan ($47,640). But he shifted his career path after a trip to Henan province in 2002 and saw the porcelain products on sale in Yuzhou. A week later, he returned home with a collection of porcelain pieces and a 50,000-yuan gas kiln. He was determined to turn potter, a decision that appalled his family. "My family strongly opposed my idea of starting a clay sculpture workshop. They thought I knew nothing about the art," Han says. In spite of the opposition, Han went ahead and began making copies of antique porcelain. For several months, his workshop did not do well and Han had to offset losses by diverting the profits of his advertising agency. It got even worse in the next year as the SARS epidemic affected China and his pottery workshop lost workers. His advertising business took a hit as well. Han had to choose which he wanted to keep and he chose his workshop. He spent almost three weeks at home mulling over why his sculptures were not working. That was when that happy accident happened. "I could not describe how delighted I was. At that moment, I finally understood the nature of the clay," he says. Source:

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