Sun, Mar 02, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Statue of woman that looks like President Ma defaced

DOPPELGANGER?While the big-breasted statue is said to look uncannily like the president, sculptor Lin Hsin-yi said he did not know who Ma was when he carved it

By Wang Hsiu-ting and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A sculpture of an Aboriginal woman at the Taitung Railway Station said to bear a close resemblance to President Ma Ying-jeou is pictured yesterday.

Photo: Wang Hsiu-ting, Taipei Times

A wooden sculpture of an Aboriginal woman installed at the Taitung Railway Station that some say bears a striking resemblance to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday fell victim to vandalism.

Station staff yesterday discovered graffiti on the left of the arm the sculpture reading: “This is not Ma Ying-jeou.”

Specialists restored the carving to its original state yesterday, Taitung Railway Station stationmaster Lai Tung-chen (賴東震) said, adding that railway police were on the hunt for the culprit.

Sculptor Lin Hsin-yi (林信一) said his “heart twitched for a second” when he heard about the damage.

“She [the sculpture] is innocent. It is just a coincidence that she looks like Ma. Please forgive her for that,” Lin said, adding that each work is very dear to him.

Lin created the sculpture during the annual Festival of Austronesian Cultures held by the Taitung County Government in 2005, in which a number of Aboriginal sculptors were invited to carve wooden sculptures at the Beinan Cultural Park.

All the artworks created during the festival were later relocated to the station for decorative purposes.

Lin said he decided to carve the middle-aged woman with disproportionately large breasts to contrast against the many sculptures featuring warriors.

“I had no clue who Ma was at the time because he was then just the Taipei mayor. I do not normally make sculptures of politicians, unless I am specifically asked to,” Lin said.

Lin said he created the facial outlines from his imagination and that he was also surprised to find how closely it resembled the president.

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