And we thought cardboard is only used for making boxes and packing things! Warren King, an American artist based in Stockholm, Sweden, has gone a step ahead to create stunning life-size sculptures from cardboard and glue. Starting out with creatively sculpting cardboard into masks and helmets to add fun and fantasy to his children’s lives, King decided to take on something more serious and time-consuming.
He decided to recreate the residents of his grandparents’ home village in Shaoxing, China, out of discarded cardboard and recyclable materials, one individual at a time. What drove King to venture into this, he states in his own words, “During my first visit to China about seven years ago, I visited (his grandparents’) village and spoke with residents who actually remembered my grandparents from over 50 years ago. It was a pivotal experience for me, one that inspired me to become an artist.”He felt compelled to connect more deeply with his cultural past.
According to him, these figurines represent the connections he is trying to recreate in the former Chinese village community. In creating these, cardboard sculptures, King leaves the backs of the figures unfinished to reveal the hollowness of existence. His art is less about what individuals he creates and more about his attempts to understand them. It also helps him to connect with his ancestral heritage.
King’s efforts resulted in the creation of a series of life-size cardboard figures of his ancestors. He titled his work as ‘Grandfather’s Friend, and Arrival Times’. This series is due to be exhibited in Art of Asia exhibition at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center to be held in 2018.
King gushes, “Through my work, I am attempting to understand the fragile connections between people and culture, and examine whether those connections, once broken, can be restored.”