In 246 BC, a Chinese emperor - Qin Shi Huangdi - desired an army that could accompany him on his quest in the land of the dead. With the help of 700.000 craftsmen, he created the terracotta army near Xi'an, China (check out this beautiful QuicktimeVR-link!).
Apparently once in every 2000 years, an army of statues is needed to shake and wake the people. H.A. Schult arose his army in 1996 to send it around the world with a message: "We live in the trash time: we produce trash and we become trash. 'Trash People' are images of ourselves."