Ju Duoqi is a Chinese artist who uses vegetables as her models to recreate recognizable masterpieces by artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, and Warhol. She uses digital photography, with a little help from Photoshop, to recreate each scene. Her images are printed large to allow the viewer to examine the amazing effort and detail put in to each recreation.
Do you want peas with your Picasso? –Celine Chen
Her works, the Vegetable museum series, are on show at the Paris Beijing Photo Gallery in the 798 art district from November 23, 2008 until January 24, 2009.
Mixing everyday vegetables such as tofu, cabbage, ginger, lotus roots, coriander and sweet potato, and adding a dash of digital manipulation, Ju presents a puzzling series of vegetable compositions representing world famous paintings like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper by Leonard Da Vinci, The Dream by Pablo Picasso and Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol.
“In the summer of 2006, I bought a few kilograms of peas, and 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. I used a remote control to take a photo of myself in them, and named it Pea Beauty Pageant. That was my first work of vegetable art,” Ju Duoqi said, recalling her first vegetable composition.
She began to find vegetables, normally associated with household drudgery, more and 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.
Then she realized that as a photographer, she no longer needed models – she arranged her legumes and took photos of them. “I have found a way of life for women who love the home,” Ju said, explaining the theme of her works. Anne Cooper Chen, an American visitor, commented, “These carry a great sense of humor.”