Split-Second Photos of Shattering Kung Fu Figurines Look Like Epic Fight Scenes

Shattered Porcelain Figurines

Photographer Martin Klimas freezes split-second moments in time. Through his compelling series, titled Porcelain Figurines, he captures the exact point at which sculptures of warriors, dragons, and other symbolic figures hit the ground and shatter into countless fragments. But despite their demise, Klimas has photographed them in an ideal state; they are in the midst of becoming pulverized, but they are still in large enough pieces that we can understand what they were before they ultimately meet their fate.

The Porcelain Figurines project is the culmination of Klimas’ fascination with high-speed photography and the visual complexity that results in the breaking of glass and clay. “I began with simple things like wine bottles and coffee cans,” Klimas tells My Modern Met, “and in 2002 I started with this series and was constantly evolving over the years.”

It took the photographer hundreds of dolls, bought from flea markets and eBay, to find figurines that worked the best for his series. Eventually, he discovered that he didn’t have to look far. “ I found the Kung-Fu Figurines at a Chinese Supermarket around the corner. It gives the work a really good turn and I let them fall in pairs to get the intention of a fight between them.”

Aside from the striking visuals that Klimas produces, the broken figurines symbolize time made visible. He is “obsessed” with this notion because it encapsulates the idea into a single image. “To catch something out of the flow of time, to find the perfect moment” he explains, “is what photographers are forever looking for.”

Through high-speed photography, Martin Klimas captures the split second a pair of porcelain figurines break and shatter on the ground.

Shattered Porcelain Figurines

The perfectly timed images look like earth-shattering battles.

High Speed Photography of Shattered Porcelain Figurines

Shattered Porcelain Figurines

High Speed Photography of Shattered Porcelain Figurines by Martin Klimas

Klimas also captures singular ceramics artistically smashing into thousands of pieces.

High Speed Photography of Shattered Porcelain Figurines

High Speed Photography of Shattered Porcelain Figurines

High Speed Photography of Shattered Porcelain Figurines

Martin Klimas: Website | Instagram 

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Martin Klimas.

Related Articles:

High-Speed Photos Capture Delicate Vases Shattering in Mid-Air

Artist Rearranges Photos Into “Exploding” Collages That Look Like They’ve Been Shot

Electric Colored Paint Dances to Different Genres of Music

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.

Sponsored Content