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October 16, 2021

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Iconic sculptor captures the soul of his subjects

A retrospective exhibition of sculptures, drafts, pictures and documents of veteran sculptor Tang Shichu is running at the Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Institute through October 23.

As one of a series of exhibitions themed “Generation to Generation” at the institute, the exhibition gives a systematic view of Tang’s vast oeuvre covering six decades.

Born in 1942 in Guang’an, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, Tang entered the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 1960.

After graduating, he worked as a teacher at the Shanghai Arts and Crafts College and later worked for the Shanghai Urban Planning and Design Research Institute.

Over the decades, Tang’s subjects have ranged from monumental sculptures to portrait sculptures, body sculptures and the abstract.

But monumental and portraits are his favorite subjects, as he believes “daunting monumental sculpture is the best expression for a sculptor.”

His monumental sculptures are splendid, simple in style but with a bit of exaggeration.

Tang is also renowned for his portrait sculptures. He has created nearly 100.

He says ordinary people, intellectuals or characters in literature are his preferred subjects.

“Before you start to work on a portrait piece, you have to find the `soul’ of that person — to enter their inner world,” he said.

Today, Tang’s sculptures are scattered in public spaces across Shanghai and many other cities in China. Some of them have won national awards.

Dates: Through September 23, 10am-5pm

Venue: Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Institute

Address: 111 Jinzhu Rd


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