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The gorditas of the Chinese Xu Hongfei arrived at Cusco

Home / Travel Blog / The gorditas of the Chinese Xu Hongfei arrived at Cusco

Asian sculptor, 'cultural ambassador' of his country, breaks with the stereotypes of female beauty.


Mr. Xu - as the journalists in Cusco used to say - is a favorite son of his hometown: Guangzhou, the third largest city in China, with more than 3 million inhabitants alone in its urban area. It is the current cultural symbol of that city and an artist promoted by the Chinese government. In fact, he is a sort of Chinese cultural ambassador, and all his activities are recorded by Chinese cameras accompanying him wherever he goes.

So far he has taken his “gorditas” exhibition to Italy, Australia, England, France, the United States, Singapore, Turkey, Austria and now he is in Peru (his 21st stop). It came within the framework of the APEC summit, but its exhibition is available until November 30th.

Your Chinese ladies make an impact. They are figures that show women alive, cheerful, provocative and sensual. "I want to celebrate the beauty and sensuality of  big women in my sculptures and take them around the world to help change the perception of people. I want us to rethink stereotypes of beauty. There are many types of beauty and many types of sensuality. Women do not have to be thin to be beautiful or sexy" says the sculptor and painter before we left for the inauguration at Plaza de Armas.

"We make assumptions about how they live their lives or how unhappy they should be." To me, this is utterly untrue. Great women can be full of life


Xu has artistic influence of the French Rodin and of the Tang dynasty (century VIII) more than of the Colombian Botero. But what is your inspiration? "I focus on the lives of ordinary people, the details cheerful and simple. People enjoy this kind of art," he adds. And it is true. One perceives it in the places where these sculptures are, which draw attention to its forms, its background, its size, its simplicity. They do not go unnoticed for those who walk through the historical center of Cuzco.

Their chubby women ride bikes, scooters, walk their pets, kiss younger men, play musical instruments, dance and more. For this show in Cusco, the sculptor presents an unpublished work: a chubby woman who seems to fly from China with a cello. "The people of Cusco are gay, sing and dance, so I thought Andean music should accompany the Chinese woman," he explains when asked about the piece in front of the Plaza de Armas. Between two and three weeks he conceived the concept of this work. It cost him only a few hours in his workshop in Guangzhou.

If you are in Cusco, you can see the chubby women in the following places of the city: Plaza Espinar, Plaza Regocijo, Calle Marqués, the atrium of the cathedral and the Plaza de Armas.


image gallery: the gorditas images
video: the gorditas

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