DIA100xH220mm, China

This cute little man is in fact a gourd!  It doesnt have the normal “8” shape (see entry Small Gourd) as it was been formed with the string bounded technique.  When the gourd is still green and tender, a string is fastened to it tightly, the string is use as a guide and restriction for its growth, by the time when it is ripe and fully grown a certain shape is formed.  This reminded me some of Araki Nobuyoshi’s work, perhaps both has a feeling of manipulation and distortion.  The drawing on the gourd is done by a technique known as heat engraving; a metal needle is inserted into a large joss stick (finger thick), the joss stick is then lighted up, using the heat the score skin of on the air dried fruit, creating a mark.  The heat can be lowered by clipping away portion of the burning joss stick.  There are different needles for different lines and shade; mainly, the pointed set for lines, horse shoe shape set for shading and knife shape for smoother lines.  Now the function of this little man, its a toy cricket cage for children to keep their pets.  The man will be at a headstand position with the lid on top, the shape of the gourd will give a resonance for the song of the crickets.

For the bamboo cage, see entry cricket cage