Hong Kong-based artist Johnson Tsang is known for his astounding ability to manipulate clay into exquisite porcelain sculptures. Inspired by the world around him, Tsang has incorporated the consequences of the coronavirus into his latest work, titled Still in One Piece III. In the delicate sculpture, two faces—covered tightly in their face masks—kiss.
By focusing on the details of the human face covered by the face masks, Tsang calls attention to the transformation in how people interact during COVID-19. Seeing figures kissing while wearing a face mask is jarring, as society has been conditioned over the course of the year to keep physical distance. Yet at the same time, the gesture is touching. It’s a reminder that even with the need for separation, we can still enjoy moments of closeness.
The emotional impact of the sculpture is not unusual when one consider’s Tsang’s body of work. This particular sculpture, created in a thin layer of porcelain, stirs up many different sentiments. Delicate yet dynamic, it sends a powerful message about the state of the world today.
“At the beginning of May, this idea popped up in my mind from nowhere during my meditation. Ideas came up to me like this very often. Many of my pieces were created with ideas popped up during meditation,” Tsang tells My Modern Met. “I have a strong feeling that these creative ideas were not originated from me. But I believe there must be a good reason that it came to me. Maybe just because I have the ability to realize these wonderful ideas and show them to the right people. For this reason, I don’t want to interpret it myself. I think everyone who see my works has the right to interpret them in their own way, according to their own feelings.”
Take a closer look at Johnson Tsang’s incredibly moving—and timely—porcelain sculpture.
My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Johnson Tsang.