Chinese furniture maker Hong Jinshi first created two pint-sized statues of former US President Donald Trump meditating in a Buddhist pose as a fun project for himself last year.
Six months later, Hong’s fun hobby morphed into a small side business, with a workshop in Dehua City, Fujian Province on track to produce an inaugural batch of 250 statues of Trump dressed in Buddhist robes with his legs crossed.
Hong was inspired by the potential contrast provided by the two extremisms of Buddhism and an ancient leader known for his vivid outbursts.
“Our tradition is that a person who is so old and successful… should start enjoying their old age and be more relaxed, but they were still tormented and worried about various desires and uncertainties,” Hong said.
Hong received orders from China and abroad for 200 of the statues, which take 10 days to make and feature a design he refined over several months with the help of a sculptor friend. A 16cm (6.3 inch) version costs 999 yuan ($ 152.22) while a 46cm statue costs 20,000 yuan.
Sales would be higher, Hong said, if it weren’t for scores of “fake, copious and substandard” knockoffs that appeared in popular Chinese online marketplace Taobao at lower prices.
Hong has no idea if Trump saw the statues, but said he was prepared to gift one to the former leader to help “cheer him up a bit.”
Hong said the project brought him great happiness and recommended that Trump attempt a similar search for realization.
“Meditation is an inner gaze, where you let go and stop fighting for fame and fortune,” Hong said. “In Trump’s current state, to be honest, he’s really in a good position to meditate like this.”
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