Social media is abuzz with posts of people posing with the statue of 'Trump Buddha'. Reports claim that a Chinese furniture maker has made statues of former US president Donald Trump, and is selling them on Alibaba's e-commerce platform Taobao. Here is the truth about the statue and the maker.
The ceramic statues of Trump posing like Buddha are indeed being sold on Taobao. The maker's name is Hong Jinshi from China and the statues are put on the e-commerce platform Taobao with caption, "Make Your Company Great Again." Does it ring a bell? Yes! It is inspired by Trump's election campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."
Speaking to The New York Times, Hong Jinshi, a 43-year-old furniture maker who lives and works in his cement factory-turned-workshop and gallery in Xiamen, China, confirmed that it was his work of art. Hong started working on the statue last year but completed the first few sculptures in early 2021. He confirmed to have put the statues for sale on Taobao in two sizes. The six-inch statue cost $153 and 18-inch statue's rate was fixed at $615.
Speaking about why he chose to show Trump in a pensive pose in his latest work, Hong said that Trump was the Buddha of knowing of the Western paradise. "He [Trump] has been already very successful, but now he is still tormenting himself, being obsessed, having a lot of ideas and doubts," Hong said.
He further said: "Trump is still having fights with all kinds of this and that every day. So I think this image is exactly the opposite extreme of him and his personality." His next words explain exactly why he chose to make a statue of Trump. "It may have something to do with my personality. I love teasing people and making jokes," he said.
He also told The New York Times that he started working on 100 larger statues of Trump posing like Buddha and has set them aside for a particular patron. He also said that if possible, he would like to present one of these large statues to Trump.
Speaking to Vice, Hong said that he was giving Trump advice. "You can say I'm giving him some advice. Aiya, you are already so successful, and you should just let go of things, and enjoy your elderly life. Your life is already perfect," Hong said.
However, China is famous for knockout versions of the original works. Thus, currently, there are many knockout versions of Trump Buddha statue, which are available on various e-commerce platforms and shops, being sold for a cheaper price than the original ones.