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New Development Stage for Chinese Sculptures

The picture on the next page depicts the sculpture of a female heel-and-toe walking athlete, titled Walking into the Worm. (Fig.3-26) It was created by Tian Jinduo and won the first prize in the First Chinese City sculpture Appraisal in 1987.

The sculpture conveys the strenuous effort made by Chinese athletes in global sports competitions in order to bring honor to their homeland. It captures a typical movement of the athlete as she relaxes her hip joints and walks on her heels and toes. The sculptor has used realistic methods of expression but has simplified some minor points and exaggerated the important parts to emphasize the characteristic gait of this event. It is one of the most representative sculptures oft he 1980s, and indicates that Chinese sculptors were gradually enriching their methods of expression and improving their skills.

Chinese sculpture entered another flourishing stage in the 1980 as social reforms in the society ushered in new life styles and ideological concepts. The Chinese sculptors paid great attention to newly introduced artistic ideas and styles.

In the mid 1980s, 100 sculpture works were selected for exhibition at the Sixth National Fine Arts Exhibition, and many of them were given awards. In the following years, some middle-aged sculptors, such as Zhou Guozhen, Zheng Yuhe, Tian Shixin, Liu Wanqi and Liu Huanzhang, held individual exhibitions. Women sculptors such as Shi Yi and Cheng Yanan won international sculpture awards. In the Eighth National Fine Arts Exhibition held at the end of the 1980s, 204 sculpture works were exhibited, and confirmed the great progress that had been made in the creation of Chinese sculpture. More hard materials, such as bronze, iron, wood and stone, were used and the sculptures showed a greater stylistic variety Some young sculptors also showed their abilities. Zeng Chenggang created Three Heroes in the Jian Lake which portrays the three Chinese democratic revolutionary figures of Qiu Jin, Xu Xilin and Tao ChengZhang. Zeng's well-proportioned design reveals the heroes' awe-inspiring righteousness. (Fig.3-27) He also created Challenge Zhao Yiman, Fond and other works, which show his unique ideas and sculptural idiom and appear very attractive.

The creation of city sculptures gained Support from the government during this period. The National City Sculpture Art Committee was established, its membership comprising sculptors, architects and gardeners. Some new city sculpture works emerged. Among them are the Geleshan Revolutionary Martyr Monument, the Soong Chingling Statue, the Sun Yat-sen Statue, the Zhou Enlai Statue, Wasteland Cultivating Bull and Fables. Chinese sculpture entered a new creative stage in the late 1980s. (Fig.3-28)

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