Ju Ming received his first lessons in sculpting from sculptors at the Matsu Temple in his hometown, where he learned to carve Chinese traditional religious statues, and later absorbed the elements of modern sculpture under Yang Yingfeng. While his sculpture embraces both East and West, folk tradition and modernism, it also clearly exhibits elements inherited from Chinese culture. Ju's two sculptural images of Confucius display the variation in his aesthetics on the same subject, revealing his feel for the medium he employed.
One of the artist's early works, 1975 Confucius (Lot 1079) reveals Ju Ming's sharp and distinct shift in point of view through his handling of Confucius' robes and detailing of other features; the subject is deliberately elongated vertically to emphasize the almost saintly reverence of Confucius in Chinese society. In Confucius (Lot 1140), Ju Ming constructs this traditional figure in an upright posture with hands clasped, his proportion less exaggerated than the other work. Instead, larger blocks are hewn out with broad cuts, embedding to and preserving the natural mass of the wood.
Through the full, lustrous textures of the wood, this image of the approachable yet revered sage emphasizes his character as "the master who is impeccable in his guidance of men." Traditional Chinese belief has it that Confucius was a great man of letters, but to represent man of armed might, there was Guan Gong. The two sages, one cultured and the other skilled in arms, complement each other. In Guan Gong (Lot 1141), Ju Ming depicts a culture hero, also known as Guan Yu, who is traditionally seen as a "red-faced warrior with long whiskers waving" and holding his sword, the "green crescent dragon blade." Guan Gong here is sketched in bronze blocks, the solidity of the medium echoing the nature of the figure portrayed, and the respect and admiration felt for this figure in Chinese culture. Lu Ban (Lot 1142), executed in1980s, exhibits this legendary historical figure posed with tools in his hands, subtly symbolizing his influence that many of the tools and the building methods he invented are in continuous use even until present day; due to his contributions to building and architecture, younger generations have come to revere him as the father of craftsmen, thus also reflecting Ju Ming's own respect for Lu Ban as a legendary historical builder and craftsman.
Ju Ming's teacher Yang Fengying once said, "Ju's creative path is continually changing. It is a dynamic change, arising out of genuine responses to life." Ju's path has taken him on a constant, expanding journey, from his Nativist Series to his Taichi Series and further on to his Living World Series. In his 1979 Sheep (Lot 1139) we find nostalgic images of rural life, and in the relationship between the subject and its background we see Ju 's artistic investigation on the textural presentation of the medium. Living World (Lot 1080) reflects Ju Ming's matured experiences and his desire to use new series to portray more varied aspects of life. Through the rough textures of wood and bold colors borrowed from folk art, the figure portrayed in this series reveal the artist's continuing concern for humanity and reflects his continuous search for the Confucian-Taoist spirit; an energy that drives Ju Ming to reach for new heights beyond his Taichi series and continuously strive and explore for a new and richly varied creative world.