This week, Herman meets Angeles Lladro, one of the directors of the Lladro company to talk about family, culture and Lladro's Guardian Lion sculpture. He also illustrates how Singaporean people celebrate Chinese New Year.
About Angeles Lladro and the Lladro Company
Angeles Lladró is the daughter of Juan and the eldest of the three founding Lladró brothers. She's a member of the Lladró Board of Directors and she represents the family at official acts and promotional events.
Founded in 1953, Lladró is a fine art company renowned for their handcrafted porcelain sculptures. The Spanish brand has a sizeable following of art enthusiasts globally and the company is synonymous with intricate craftsmanship and prestige.
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Artisan Herman: Hi Ms Angeles, my name is Herman and I grew up in a traditional Singaporean Chinese family.
Every Chinese New Year, families and relatives would pay each other many visits and mothers would make many comparisons about how their children are getting good grades in school (mothers with children who get Cs prefer to divert their conversations to bigger social issues like how smartphones and Angry Birds are adversely affecting the younger generation and the education system).
Fathers would talk about the increasing costs of owning a car, children would gather round the TV to watch Ben 10 and the teenagers would be listening to their favourite Korean boy bands on their iPhones.
Singaporean family celebrating Chinese New Year
What is it like growing up in Spain and in the Lladro's?
Angeles: Passion is one of the features of the Spanish character and there is loads of it in the Lladro family and company. Besides being Spanish, we are also Mediterranean, the birthplace of great
artists, where different cultures meet, and this enriches us and makes us more creative and
open to the world in general.
Mediterranean works of art
In my family, I grew up surrounded by Lladró pieces and that’s something I can appreciate now,
because it fostered in me a special sensibility for art. As a simple observer at first, but then
later those objects began to take on a life of their own and I learned to admire beauty and also
to see beyond it.
Artisan Herman: Lladro’s artpieces are very popular in the Asian markets and your artists have created numerous Asian-inspired works based in various cultures such as the Chinese, Indonesian and Balinese.
You’re introducing for the very first time in Singapore the Guardian Lions- a pair of sculptures consisting of a lion and lioness adorned with all the traditional oriental detailing.
Guardian Lion, Lladro
Share with us the design inspirations behind the Guardian Lions? What are the main differences between Asian themed style sculptures vs European, for example, Greek Sculptures?
Angeles: The inspiration comes from the famous Guardian Lions that protect the entrances of houses
and temples. We thought it was a fascinating tradition and we also thought that the pieces
had a lot of creative possibilities.
Regarding the difference from the China sculptures and antique Greek sculptures, there is no
doubt that the main difference is the raw material. Chinese used porcelain and Greeks were
specially fond of marble and bronze. It is true that both of them have things in common, like
the beauty, shapes and colours.
Artisan Herman: Creating a sculpture takes a great amount of patience and equal measures of
care and skill, so does raising your very own children. How does your experience in
craftwork translate into parenthood?
Angeles: Well, I personally do not sculpt, but I appreciate the details and all the work made to elaborate
our pieces. I spend a lot of time at work, but when I am with my children I try to enjoy it as
much as possible.
Artisan Herman: Are there any differences in the taste, preferences and purchasing patterns of the fine art
consumers in the Asian market compared to the customers in Europe?
Angeles: Work well done is appreciated all over the world. In our case, the care and dedication with
which our pieces are elaborated is extended to everyone and that is what makes our pieces
valued around the world. Very importantly, our pieces transmit universal feelings like love and
The Essence of Life, Lladro
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Angeles Lladro and her translator
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