Antony Gormley: Asian Field
Antony Gormley is widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations, and public artworks that investigate the relationship of the human body to space. His work has been exhibited internationally. Gormley has been awarded numerous honorary fellowships and prizes, including the Turner Prize in 1994. He was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997 and a knight in the New Year's Honours list in 2014. Gormley has been a Royal Academician since 2003.
“When I pressed down into the clay, it felt like I was giving it a heart.”
Tan Xuejiao, participant
In 2003, British sculptor Antony Gormley invited some 300 residents of Xiangshan village (now Huadong Town in Guangzhou city) to make approximately 200,000 sculptures out of locally sourced clay. He offered only three simple instructions: each figurine was to be hand-sized, capable of standing upright, and have two eyes looking just above the horizon. Otherwise, each maker was free to improvise on their own.
In the end, the sculptures would be assembled into a sea of upward-turned faces, a ‘field’ that reflected the mass of humanity and the region's vast territory. The collective work, titled Asian Field, would go on to tour China and sites around the world before entering the M+ Collections in 2015.
As Pauline Yao (Lead Curator, Visual Art) and young local art practitioners readied the installation for display at Antony Gormley: Asian Field in 2021, the artist and some of the original makers looked back on what the experience of moulding this mass of figures meant to them, accompanied by archival footage of the production process and portraits by Zhang Hai’er.
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Join us online on 11 May with British sculptor Antony Gormley in the inaugural session of the M+ Lars Nittve Keynote Lecture Series. Register now
Presenting Supporter of M+ Lars Nittve Keynote Lecture Series: The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Hong Kong
Plate Creations Limited
On-site Research and Coordination
Transcript and Subtitle
Iyuno Media Group
M+ Curatorial Research
Pauline J. Yao, Vera Lam, Jessie Kwok
M+ Video Production
Elaine Wong, Jaye Yau, Chris Sullivan
M+ Text Editing
Amy Leung, Gloria Furness
Xiangshan Village Council, Antony Gormley Studio, Jiang Huifang, Jiang Jianhua,
Jiang Juwen, Jiang Xiquan, Tan Jiaxin, Tan Xuejiao, Igor Chan, Victor Chan, Sammi Cheung,
Athena Chow, Joanna Fung, Vernon Ho, Miki Hui, Shannon Koo, Jackson Kwong,
Vicky Lam, Doris Leung, Beata Li, Casper Li, Jess Li, Ringo Lo, Mui Hoi Ying, Michelle Tam,
Charlie Tang, Bob To, Sunday Tsang, Kelvin Wong, Human Wu, Eva Zhu