Chinese furniture maker Hong Jinshi first created a couple of pint-sized statues of former US president Donald Trump meditating in a Buddhist pose as a fun project for himself last year.
Six months on, Hong’s hobby has turned into a small business in Dehua in Fujian province with an inaugural batch of 250 statues of Trump dressed in Buddhist robes meditating with his legs crossed, reports Reuters.
Hong was inspired by the contrast between the two extremes of Buddhism and a former leader of the free world known for his sharp outbursts.
“Our tradition is that a person who is so old and successful should start to enjoy his old age and be more relaxed, but he was still tormented and fretting over various desires and uncertainties,” said the artist.
The furniture maker has received orders from China and abroad for 200 of the statues, which take 10 days to make and sell for US$150 and up depending on size.
Sales would be higher, he said, if not for the scores of “fake, copycat and lower quality” imitations that have popped up on popular Chinese online marketplace Taobao at lower prices.
He has no idea if Trump has seen the statues, but said he was prepared to offer one to the former president to help him “cheer up a bit”.
The artist said the project has brought him a lot of happiness, and recommended Trump attempt a similar search for fulfilment.
“Meditation is a look within, where you let go, and stop fighting for fame and fortune,” he said. “In Trump’s current state, to be honest, he is really well-suited to do some meditation in this way.”
It is not known if Trump intends to follow Hong’s advice, but he may find it difficult to relax and meditate for a while as two Capitol Police officers are suing him for allegedly inciting the Washington Capitol riot and causing them physical and emotional injuries.
The veteran cops allege that Trump “inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted” the mob that violently breached the Capitol building on January 6, according to Newsweek.
The officers both say that they continue to suffer physical pain and emotional trauma from the assault nearly three months after it happened.
The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $75,000 for each officer and unspecified punitive damages.
The complaint claims that Trump is responsible for the injuries to the officers because those who took part in the storming of the Capitol “were spurred on by Trump’s conduct over many months”.