Forget the traditional smooth wood sculptures that you see around you, this Taiwanese sculptor ‘pixilates’ his sculptures to create monochromatic figures that portray a sense of movement and displacement. Meet Hsu Tung Han, who is a master of combining the traditional with the contemporary.
Han achieves his unique style by using ‘pixilation’ in all his sculptures, that is, some blocks protrude from his sculptures, while some are displaced from them. He places each ‘pixel’ with such finesse that it infuses the sculptures with a kind of dynamism that is totally missing in the traditional ones. He has been able to achieve such stunning effects in his sculptures by handling his works like a jigsaw puzzle, fitting out each piece as a ‘pixel’.
Of course, to create such complex pixelated wood sculptures, this contemporary sculptor first carefully plans them through sketches and clay models and then expertly carves the final wood segments. He uses the traditional wood carving methods using the age-old wood carving tools, but he uses only specific woods for his sculptures that include walnut, teak, and African wax wood. His creations range from simple to complex and are created from a single piece of wood.
The sculptures of this outstanding wood sculptor are to be seen to be believed. For instance, his sculpture of a baseball catcher is amazingly detailed and depicts the player’s uniform and equipment from his shin guards to his mask. However, the protruding pieces of wood on his mitt and other parts of his body give the impression of quick motion, much like that seen in comics.
Besides human figures, Han has also delved into other subjects that include animals and objects, such as the knight in the game of chess that showcases the raw power of the horse, brought out by the expert chiseling of its muscles and interspersed with ‘pixilated’ wood blocks, for effect. Another delicate piece, titled ‘Snowing’ shows two cranes, rendered in light-colored wood, nestled together.
Once Han started uploading his futuristic pixilated sculptures on the internet, his signature style has been lauded by viewers and made his sculptures popular in no time. People realized the beauty of his creations that never seem fully formed but exudes a kind of dynamism that seems to set them into motion.
Han’s sculptures can be seen on many websites on the internet and have attracted almost 50,000 views on Instagram alone.
Hsu Tung Han