Lei Xue is a Chinese painter, sculptor, and photographer. Often, he would explore the natural tension that exists between traditional and contemporary styles. One collection of his actually bridges the two. It’s his Drinking Tea series. You ask: what is it? Well, it’s a set of can sculptures — and they’re quite creative and fun to look at!
With his artistic ingenuity, Lei Xue was able to sculpture cans that look like somebody’s crumpled and discarded them. The cans are actually made of white porcelain. Also, they feature a blue motif, drawing inspiration from the wares of the Ming Dynasty. Indeed, they’re a clever embodiment of the old and the new.
We could say that Lei Xue’s approach to art has a strong connection with history. Even his subject matter connects with history, too. Drinking vessels! As the Gallery Martina Deterrer pictures it:
“The human need for drinking manifests itself in the external form of the cans as well as in their design. It is timeless and endures the entire history of mankind.”
Indeed, Lei Xue is an artistic genius for linking canned drinks and drinking tea, which dates back to the Ming Dynasty. He also notes how quickly we drink both beverages and then just discard the vessels.
More than the historical context of Drinking Tea, the use of porcelain cans also speak about the views of Lei Xue about the past and present. His reinterpretation of the pieces is not like real cans in some ways. For instance, their production is not through a factory. He sculpted and painted each on by his hands. Doing so is something of great honor to the artist.
Here are the porcelain cans that are part of the Drinking Tea art collection by Lei Xue.
Source: Lei Xue