The Ashmolean last year acquired a monumental sculpture by Taiwanese artist Ju Ming (b.1938). I tried to photograph it a month or two back but the habitual greyness of the Oxford winter was not in my favour. This week, however, the brilliant sunshine lit up the façade of the museum, creating a pleasing contrast between the very dark, organic surfaces of the piece, and the white and golden neo-classical masonry behind.
The sculpture, Taichi Arch, is made of bronze and belongs to a series on taichi, inspired by the physical and mental aspects of this ancient martial art. The arch is an abstract form of tuishou, pushing hands, a two-person training routine in taichi. In its current setting, it is a focal point of the forecourt, very much inviting the curious visitor to take a tour around it, and investigate the more secluded space within.
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Above: Ju Ming, Taichi Arch, 2000 3/8. Bronze. Ashmolean Museum. Donated by Juming Culture & Education Foundation in honour of Michael Sullivan. Photo: STF.