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 Friday, 17 January, 2003, 12:37 GMT
Artist turns to China for clay army
Antony Gormley
Gormley starts work in China on Saturday
Artist Antony Gormley has formally unveiled his latest project to create a 120,000-strong terracotta army with the help of Chinese villagers.

Gormley, who is famous for his Angel of the North giant statue, will direct 300 people in building the sculpture installation, made of hand-sized clay figures.

The work, called Asian Field, will dwarf China's world-famous terracotta army made up of 8,000 statues of warriors and horses in an underground tomb in the city of Xian.

When completed the show will go on a tour of Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

Antony Gormley
Gormley's Asian Field is three times the size of the British work
Gormley has worked on the Field project since 1989 at locations from the Brazilian rainforest to northern Europe.

His "Field for the British Isles" work featured 40,000 terracotta figures packed together to create a single giant installation.

For the Asian leg of the project he will work in a village in China's Huadu district north east of the city of Guangzhou.

Work on the project begins on Saturday.

Explaining the idea, Gormley said: "Field is part of a global project in which the earth of a particular region is given form by a group of local people of all ages.

"It is made of clay, energised by fire, sensitised by touch and made conscious by being given eyes."

Gormley's work is among a raft of art projects put forward by the British Council's latest venture, Art For A Dangerous World.

The project, as part of a scheme by the British council to promote British arts around the world, aims to highlight the need for cultural and artistic ties between the West and the rest of the world.

It will be filmed for possible screening in the UK and China in March.

Other events in the scheme include a tour of China by downtempo dance group Morcheeba; an exhibition in Slovenia by conceptual artist Damien Hirst; and Dundee Repetory Theatre performing Shakespeare in Iran.

See also:

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