Artist uses ashes of the dead to create artwork commemorating Wenchuan earthquake victims

Updated 2018-05-10 14:39:04

Arist Shu Yong (right)

A white flower sculpture created by Chinese artist Shu Yong using the ashes earthquake victims was donated to the Wenchuan Earthquake Yinxiu Museum on Wednesday as part of commemorative activities remembering those that died during the May 12 Wenchuan earthquake 10 years ago.

The work Flower of Life - made from the ashes of twin sisters Jiajia and Qiqi with the approval of their mother - is the artist's attempt to honor the earthquake victims in a special way.

"Flower of Life is a different way to preserve the lives of those that died in that earthquake. It also expresses people's respect for life and can act as a collective memory of the victims," the artist explained.

In traditional Chinese culture, ashes must be buried so the dead may rest. Using ashes to create an artwork therefore has ignited debate in China.

"They [ashes] are not a tool, but a kind of life code, representing the hope for rebirth," he said.

The devastating Wenchuan earthquake struck Southwest China's Sichuan Province on May 12, 2008, destroying countless buildings and leading to nearly 70,000 people losing their lives.

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