We loved Ju Duoqi’s “Vegetable Museum” where she used vegetables as actors to recreate famous paintings. This time her seductive sculptures of semi-nude women are modeled on icons including Marilyn Monroe and Lady Gaga, made entirely from cabbages – everything including their clothes, hats and jewelry. Her recent series is entitled “The Fantasies of Chinese Cabbage”
Ju Duoqi, from Beijing, China, uses a knife to slice the different colors and varieties of cabbage and holds them together using toothpicks. The cabbage is left to age for varying lengths of time and then cooked in different ways to achieve a range of colors and textures.
It started in the summer of 2006 when she bought several kilograms of peas. She sat there quietly for two days peeling them, before stringing them on a wire and turning them into a skirt, a top, a headdress and a magic wand. She took a photo of herself in them, and named it Pea Beauty Pageant. That was Duoqi’s first work of vegetable art.
In the two years that followed, I often dressed up as a housewife, leisurely strolling to the market in a serious search for fun. I would often pace in front of the vegetable stalls, picking things up, thinking and putting them back, trying to figure out which positions made them more interesting. The different types, shapes and colors of the vegetables, with a bit of rearranging, can make for a rich source of imagery. Fresh, withered, rotting, dried, pickled, boiled, fried, they all come out different. I no longer needed a model, as they all became actors and even props
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