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Figuring things out

By Cheng Yuezhu and Sun Ruisheng | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-12 07:45
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He won a Jinzhong folk culture skills competition in July with a piece depicting traditional storytellers. [Provided to China Daily]

Yan recalls that, at the age of 14, he molded the figure of a child by himself. Upon seeing it, his father was amazed that he could make such a good figurine at a young age and started teaching him how to sculpt all kinds of human figures.

"I have always been sensitive to people's facial and bodily expressions. Often when I speak to people, or simply walk on the street or inside a market, I'll observe people's expressions, body language and movements. When I see something interesting, I want to embody it through sculpture," Yan says.

A lot of Yan's work draws inspiration from his own life experiences or his everyday observations.

One particular sculpture that he holds dear, Visiting the Relatives, depicts a scene from his childhood, where his father can be seen riding a bicycle, carrying his mother and four small children, to visit relatives during Spring Festival.

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