In this bronze sculpture, Seeds of Blessings, by contemporary artist Wu Ching Ru, a head emerges from voluminous folds of a cloak that evokes a seed pod. In an S-curve shape, the figure leans her head to the right, with that side’s hand cradling her ear, as if awaiting a secret. As part of Ching Ru’s Zen series, this sculpture integrates abstracted western figurative sculpture with the beliefs and practices of Zen Buddhism, which embrace the beauty of both natural and human forms. In her own words, “emotions play an important part in my work: serenity, modesty, sadness, tranquillity, and joy feature prominently.”
Contemporary artist Wu Ching Ru’s artwork is an homage to nature, family, and self. Ching Ru’s appreciation for our natural world can clearly be seen in both her paintings and bronzes. The simple lines that appear in her paintings manifest themselves in the delicate form of her bronze sculptures. Drawing from both eastern and western artistic traditions in a unique and elegant stylistic balance, her works remain rooted in her aboriginal Taiwanese identity.
Taking inspiration from Zen Buddhism, Wu Ching Ru creates art to capture the pursuit of enlightenment and the search for the true self, free from modern life’s distractions. As Ching Ru describes, “it’s the quieting of self that opens the eye of the creative. It’s the return to the soul that allows us to hear what is all around.”
Born in 1961, in the urban township of Fenglin in the Huatung Valley of Eastern Taiwan, Ching Ru was taught the tribal traditions of her ancestors and, above all, the love and respect of all living things from a young age. She completed university studies in 1984 and lived in the United States. In 1993, Ching Ru moved to the Netherlands, where she studied Western sculpting and bronze casting. Today, Ching Ru works mostly from her studio located in the mountains near where she grew up in the Huatung Valley. In this picturesque environment in the midst of nature, she continues to create powerful yet intrinsically delicate works, merging influences from both Chinese and Western cultures
In 2011, her work Pro Terra et Natura was selected for public placement in Lu Jia Zhui Central Park, located in Shanghai’s financial district. The thirteen metre high installation was chosen from over 1000 proposals to be placed in the green oasis at the base of three of the most imposing skyscrapers in China. Pro Terra et Natura features two winged mythical figures, representing Earth and Nature, their grace and placement demonstrating their delicate relationship with our world amidst the deterioration of our natural environment.
That same year during the 2017 BRICS international relations summit in Xiamen, China, the Chinese government brought together a collection of outstanding works covering the last 800 years of Chinese art. The collection featured Ching Ru’s one-and-a-half-metre bronze sculpture Endless, from the Beyond Zen series, a natural choice to capture the continuous evolution of the oriental tradition and aesthetic for modern times.
Her artwork is held in significant collections across the world, including those established in the United Kingdom, the USA, continental Europe, The Middle East, and Asia. Multiple works are on permanent display in museums in China and 12 monumental public sculptures have been installed in 3 continents
The artist’s works are held in numerous public and private collections including Phantom Creek Estates Winery in British Columbia, Canada.
Ching Ru currently lives and works in Taiwan.