The dingy-looking clothes hanging on the line above look like whites in need of a good bleaching. But the ‘clothes’ aren’t even made of fabric, they’re actually intricately carved pieces of wood. Taiwanese artist Mary Leu creates the hyperrealistic items by painstakingly carving a single piece of boxwood to mimic the folds, creases, and textures of fabric objects.
Like the pieces they emulate, the wood carvings appear to be made of different materials- the pair of underwear above looks like a simple pair of cotton briefs, while the sweater below looks like a cozy, wool cable-knit pullover.
Each carving, depending on its size and complexity, take 3 months to a year to complete. Leu displays her work at the Mary Leu Fine Carving Art Gallery, which also doubles as a workspace and teahouse. In an artist’s statement to visitors of the gallery, Leu describes her work:
While carving, I am always focused and constantly strive to improve my techniques… Art is just not about mastering techniques; it’s about expressing one’s emotions and the beauty inherent in the mind. Sculpture is about evincing affection and its subject should be something that can be appreciated by all.
Click through the gallery below to see more of the intricate, realistic carvings: