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I've read the two sentences that used the word 雕像 and 雕塑, respectively. However, I don't see what's the difference between the two words. When you look it up in a dictionary, both say "it is statue".

So is there anything that makes the one different from the other? I'm learning about Mandarin Chinese.

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The 像 character indicates that the sculpture is supposed to resemble a person, it's an "alike" or depiction of someone, 雕塑 may take more vague shapes, abstract sculptures, especially larger ones, etc., including persons of course.

Try using Google image search.

First term: 雕像 Second term: 雕塑

  • 1
    Oh, using Google image is a terrific idea. I appreciate your decomposition of the word, though. Thanks. – Blaszard Nov 10 '14 at 23:03
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A nuance reveals that 雕像 is a craft, 雕塑 is a art much more valuated.

  • Indeed. The works of ancient Greeks and Romans, or the masterpieces of the renaissance, though being sculptures of human figures, we never call them 雕像. – Wang Dingwei Nov 11 '14 at 1:43
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(I am a Chinese, sorry for my English)

There is a band in China called (重塑雕像的權利 | Rebuilding The Rights Of Statues)

  • 雕像:more emphasize it stands for something beyond the statue itself (like history, a kind of spirit, etc). 像 has the meaning 象征(represents). We will definitely call Mao Ze Dong's statue as 雕像,not 雕塑,cause we build statue not because it looks good, it reminds us something back in history.

  • 雕塑:emphasize it's a piece of art. 塑 has the meaning it's made by a artist, not something normal people could easily do.

    But, normally, we use them quite interchangeability.

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雕像 is mostly for human and 雕塑 can be for anything.

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