Quite the renaissance man with his vast knowledge of various topics, Woffles Wu, plastic surgeon and founder of Woffles Wu Aesthetic Surgery & Laser Centre, is as comfortable discussing wine, as he is with politics or Japanese anime.
The doctor also loves acquiring interesting objets d’art – and probably the quirkiest of them all are his 25 Chinese erotic figurines, which he began collecting since he was in his late teens.
In the 1970s, he used to spend a lot of time in antique shops studying, admiring and even buying early Han dynasty (dating from 206BC to 24AD) figures and earthenware. He was particularly drawn to effigies of dwarves, clowns, dogs, chickens, ducks and cats as he felt “those reflected the life and social fabric of the time”.
He continues: “A dealer in Tanglin Shopping Centre, Ronald Shen of Shanghai Arts & Crafts, introduced to me an erotic figurine, and I thought this was an even better representation of life in that period! It was like an insight to the mentality of the people then. There were also books and drawings that illustrated the erotic practices of China, Japan and India.”
One of the earliest pieces he acquired was the one that fired up his passion: “I have a piece consisting of 10 ceramic tablets strung together and carved with copulating couples. It really was like a manual to prepare the young women before they got married. Usually the better families would have owned these to pass down through the generations. It intrigued me. I started looking out for more of these figurines to expand my collection.”
Knowing one’s roots As a Chinese Singaporean educated in the West and unable to speak Chinese, I felt I needed to know more about the culture I come from. I also started to buy books on Chinese history and ceramics.
His first time The first purchase was a set of three pieces, each with a different copulation style. I was fascinated. I’d wanted to source more of these figurines, which proved to be very hard to obtain. In over 40 years, I’ve only managed to find these few pieces.
Important questions It must be beautiful! Is it something I absolutely must have in my life? Is it something I can live with for a long time or is it a passing beauty that bores me after a few weeks? I don’t think of investment value at all. I am not a dealer or trader. I buy things to enhance the quality and experience of my life.
Think and think again I’m not good at keeping tabs on my expenses. There are many instances where I have held back on a purchase only to regret it later, or I have paid too much for something simply because I got carried away with my emotions. Always buy only what you can afford.
Most loved Yes, there is one where the couple has beautifully painted features conveying their orgasmic bliss and their deep penetrative embrace. They look so realistic you can almost feel what’s going on between them. The artistry is really in the portrayal of the pleasure and lust in the figurines’ faces. Love it! And interestingly, I have two larger figurines depicting interracial intercourse between a Chinese man and a Japanese woman.
Eyeing next Another Han-dynasty sex figurine!
Most expensive item I never talk about cost.
The story originally appears on Prestige Online Singapore.