October 16th-17th, some of the most talented and enterprising people from the 3D printing world will gather in Paris for 3D Printshow, a rapidly growing event held several times a year in multiple cities. Billed as both an exhibition and a networking event, the current show will feature exhibits from just about every facet of the field. Exhibitors range from large corporations such as Stratasys and Ultimaker to individual makers and artists.
One of those artists is Duong Le Thai, an orthopedic surgeon and sculptor originally from Vietnam who is currently living and working in Paris. You may think of those as two very disparate professions, but Le Thai finds a way to combine the two, and he does it beautifully. His sculpted forms are inspired by the human body, but they capture more than just the physical form.
“As an orthopaedic surgeon, I work on the body everyday, shaping and molding its most intimate reality, which affords me with an inside perspective on it,” said Le Thai. “Through my sculptures, I endeavor to communicate this same emotion, because, in the end,when you think about it, carving a bone and sculpting artistic matter hold many similarities. The flesh is thus transfigured to give space to more lightness, more void, in order to embody what it the least tangible: its spirit.”
Le Thai’s graceful, flowing forms succeed in melding the body and spirit seamlessly. His most recent series, entitled the Ghost Series, features sculptures that appear to be made from water. Human figures seem to be emerging into physical form only briefly, as if they they were captured in a moment between elemental states. Other sculptures call to mind the blurring between the body and nature; Darwin-2, for example, is in the shape of a human skull that appears to be wrapped in branches.
Impressively, Le Thai’s ethereal work comes to life through 3D printing. He works with several materials including nylon, resin, sintering powder and aluminum. Techniques used include stereolithography, direct metal fusion, powder agglomeration, and metallisation. Small pieces are printed, then sanded down and manually primed. His work is designed using a Wacom graphic tablet.
3D Printshow is not Le Thai’s first exhibition. His work has been shown around Paris several times in 2015 alone, and previous years have been no different. He studied design, painting, engraving and sculpture at the Beaux Arts de Versailles, and studied medicine at Faculté de médecine Kremlin Bicêtre Paris Sud XI. How he finds time for both a demanding medical profession and a prolific career as an artist is amazing; either one is a full-time job that many people have difficulty keeping up with as a sole profession.
If you’d like to see more of Le Thai’s art, you can check out his website; see his impressive listing of previous exhibitions on his 3D Printshow profile. He will have twelve pieces on display at 3D Printshow Paris, including:
- Tribute to Thich Quang duc
- Bionic Man
- Bubble Gum
- Buddha standing