Gathering: Wooden Sculpture

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Wooden sculpture of Jesus by artist Jerome Seu, ca. 1975. Courtesy of Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum.
Wooden sculpture of Jesus by artist Jerome Seu, ca. 1975. Courtesy of Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum.

A sculptor, butcher and assistant store manager at his family-operated grocery store, Ming Sang Grocery in Greenville, Jerome Seu began to teach himself the art of woodworking in 1974. Starting with a simple key design, Seu moved on to carving pig figures in 1975. Before long, he became a student of Leon Koury, a well-known Greenville sculptor who persuaded Seu to take a few classes.

Standing in a friend’s backyard one day, Seu studied a Pecan tree stump and could ‘see’ a marble shooter. From that 300 pound stump and after 600 hours of work, the “Marble Shooter” sculpture was testament to the God-given talent Seu shares. This is another example of Seu's work, the face of Jesus, inspired by the religious community he has found in Greenville.

While he prefers to work with natural wood pieces, Seu also discovered that he could create art from the collected crate ends he acquired from his and other local stores. Gluing the crate ends together in a process known as lamination, Seu has coaxed approximately 35 pieces from his imagination and transformed them into sculptures.

This object was featured in the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)'s exhibit, "Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History," October 17, 2019 - March 22, 2020.

Place(s): Greenville, MS; Cleveland, MS
Year: 1975

– Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum

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