Joseph Tsang is a dynamic artist and sculpture who works with Hot Toys to create some of the most realistic and precise toy figurines. He specializes in mostly movie figurines, but also creates some figurines inspired by some of the hottest Hollywood blockbusters.
I recently contacted Joseph for this exclusive interview:
When did you get started in sculpting?
At the young age of 7, I was already been fascinated with drawing, especially portraits. When my parents took me out to dinner, I sometimes would start sculpting cartoon characters with rice when feeling bored. During my high school years, I began sculpting with paper clay, and it was not until I enrolled in The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) that I received genuine training in sculpting.
What is your present relationship with ‘Hot Toys’?
I am a freelance sculptor and have been working together with Hot Toys for 10 years. I really enjoy my work and especially when some of my favorite projects come up, I will throw myself in and work endlessly.
How long does it take you to typically complete a work?
Every project’s design requirements and complexity are all different, so each project requires very different amount of time. In addition to the hours needed for sculpting, there is also the need to study and research the points of articulation where it might take over a few months to accomplish.
Do you choose your own works and displays?
Other than main characters from movies, I also like to take on new challenges and discover new subject matters. I would draw many different styles of concept designs and present to movie studios to seek license to create these original designs.
How long have you been perfecting your craft?
I’ve been in the sculpting profession for over 20 years. Every time I look back at my past work, I still feel there is room for improvement. I believe this self evaluation and acknowledgement of criticisms are the ways to improve my future works.
How long did you study at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts?
At the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, I majored in Applied Arts and studied design, painting, sculpting, and material application for 4 years. I loved working in group projects because they provided excellent training ground for communication techniques. In my line of business, other than artist skills, the ability to effectively communicate with others is also very important as a successful product is the combined efforts of a whole team.
If you had to choose, what is one of your favorite works?
I actually like to create diorama statue a little more, such as the AVP Requiem Predalien VS Predator.For diorama statues, you need to capture the character’s action at a certain moment while fully displaying the specific expression, energy, and atmosphere. That is the most interesting part and also the most difficult.
Many people have asked me how to become a sculptor, and I will say it is the passion throughout the creation process where you need to constantly learn and never give up. I have taught many students who were very talented, but a number of them would want to give up when they encountered difficulties or met criticisms, so I hope friends who like to pursue the path of a sculptor will work hard, overcome obstacles, and make your dream come true.
Joseph Tsang is a toy artist and sculptor. He studied at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts – Applied Arts