Chinese sculptor Liu Xue creates human-animal hybrids that are both elegant and disturbing, displaying a range of emotions between acceptance and anxiety in their existences. A man-pig appears in anguish; a man-walrus exudes confidence and defiance.
And between each of these creations, Xue seems to convey both absurdity and drama in his creations, abandoning the need for anatomical soundness between species and instead opting for his own aesthetic transition between the textures of the two species represented. At times, it’s more natural, as the obese man’s posture fits into the form his frog legs take on. Other times, like the case of the obese man-seahorse hybrid, the two halves seem at odds with one another. There’s a grace to some of the animal parts when taken separately, but when paired with humanity, a grotesque and somewhat frightening shape takes form.
These tensions create a fascinating ambiguity in the artist’s intentions, and it offers viewers a chance to concoct their own theories when taking a holistic survey at Xue’s work.