Warren King is an American artist based in Stockholm, Sweden who creates these stunning life-sized figures from only cardboard and glue. This ongoing project is a recreation of his grandparents’ home village in China one individual at a time. The discarded materials that he uses relate to the nature of the connections he is attempting to reconstruct. The forms are abstracted, and the backs of the figures are left unfinished, revealing hollowness and the artist’s meticulous construction. His work is not so much about the individuals that are represented as it is about his own attempts to understand them, and also the limitations of these efforts.
Several years ago, King travelled to China for the first time, to the village where generations of his family had lived. During this trip he was approached on the streets by people who, amazingly, had memories of his grandparents from when they had lived there before the Chinese Civil War – people with whom he shared a cultural, racial, and ancestral connection but a connection that was severed when his grandparents left that place 50 years ago.
You can follow more of his work on his Instagram @wrnking.
images courtesy of Warren King