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Cao hui's dissected classical sculptures turn solid stone into fleshy forms

chinese artist cao hui has a fascination with anatomy, creating sculptural objects that offer dissected views into the inner workings of figurative and functional forms. designboom previously featured hui’s collection of domestic and personal items — such as upholstered armchairs, suitcases, jackets and gloves — rendered with hyper-realistically sculpted flesh. similarly, hui’s series of dissected classical sculptures offers a surreal and surprising peek inside the ‘bodies’ of some of the best known statues from history.

hui’s series of dissected sculptures sees classical works of art divided up into segments, both linear and fractional. within the resin forms, the artist shows what might lie beneath the sculptures’ stone façades, depicting hyper-realistically rendered, flesh-like innards, bits of brain and open organs. ‘we must not only see the surface, but also examine the inside,’ hui describes in an artist statement, ‘and so the relationship between inner and outer crystallizes into a kind of perfect logic, explainable by our inherent ‘knowledge’. thus we can begin to deceive others, using set after set of theoretical explanations. the result is laughter — in the end we’ve merely amused ourselves before god did.