public art: home : archives : Aug 2004


Jul 2004 > Aug 2004 > Sep 2004

Rodin's Thinker in Shanghai | Aug 31, 2004

Here's the complete story from Xinhua News Agency:

SHANGHAI, Aug. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- A statue of the Large Thinker, a renowned sculpture by great French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), has settled down at the Shanghai Municipal Library.

A ceremony was held at the library Wednesday to welcome the Large Thinker.

This 1.8-meter-tall statue, erecting on a two-meter-high white marble foundation, was cast from the fifth mould for the Large Thinker of Rodin's. Noted French collector Emmanel Javogue contributed the statue to the Shanghai Cultural Development Foundation recently.

It is learned that sculptor Rodin made five plaster moulds for the Large Thinker. A total of 25 sculptures of the Large Thinker have been created from the No. 5 mould
an opinion - why public art should not be commissioned by bureaucrats | Aug 26, 2004

An opinion piece in the Fort Worth, Texas daily paper. Quite a direct argument, an interesting read.

Man with a Briefcase, Borofsky
Athens Olympics icon | Aug 26, 2004

Dromeas, or Runner, by Varotsos, was put in place in Athens in 1992. It is a work in glass, in a city with few contemporary pieces of art in public places (understandable, given how much classical art there is). But with the Olympics, Dromeas is deservedly becoming a real icon of the city.

Harry Potter Creator Statue | Aug 22, 2004

Edinburgh needs a statue to commemorate its new hero, JK Rowling. Also in the running are Sean Connery and Muriel Spark. One Tory MP thinks the discussion should be oriented more towards people like Adam Smith and Arthur Conan Doyle:

"...I think we have a tradition in Edinburgh of waiting until people have died before we put up a statue to them and I think perhaps it would be best if we continue that tradition."
where is his sculpture? | Aug 22, 2004

An artwork in a traffic circle in Bangalore goes missing when the traffic circle was altered. So where is it now? Says sculptor Balan Nambiar:

"I am shocked by the apathy of the police who think it is their birthright to wreak havoc on works of art in public places without the elementary social courtesy of either contacting their owners or seeking permission for their removal."
25000 statues of Mao | Aug 19, 2004

Sculptor Wang Wen Hai plans to commemorate the route of the Long March with small statues of Mao. He also intends to build a 450-foot monument to the man. Read this New York Times article.

Merlion animation | Aug 15, 2004

Too dreary for words... this animation (11 MB download if you click) was apparently commissioned by Sentosa's consultants for use in the big Sentosa Merlion attraction. I'm not too sure when it was commissioned or if it is still there, but the vision of Merlion pups cavorting and diving for coins may haunt your dreams. You have been warned. The music was done by a US-based team, and as they put it:

"The Merlion project originally called for someone who could provide the real deal in Malay music, so I started with a palette of authentic sounds from that part of the world, including the percussive Gamalan orchestras of Indonesia. But as the project developed and the client wanted more drama, I combined these tone colors with a bigger, more orchestral palette for a blend of Asia and the west."

One can only imagine.

Click here to the original Merlion.
Ju Ming - Singapore Beijing Shanghai | Aug 14, 2004

Singapore Art Museum sent me this garbled email announcement. (still have a long way to go on using internet for effective communications guys...). Among other things it promoted the series of three talks which were held LAST MONTH.

But it looks like there is more to come in the Ju Ming show, especially the installation of his Taichi Art in mid-September. The site has a bit more, including excerpts of reviews.
URA's public spaces in Singapore | Aug 13, 2004

The URA has created a nice website devoted to public spaces in the city - presenting the planners' take on our public spaces, and inviting public comment on why spaces work. Also holds the results of the winning competitions for public spaces in Singapore. The 2003 Public Spaces masterplan is available here as well. Kudos to URA for sharing this information in any easily accessible manner, but of course we are far from publically sharing the process behind these decisions...

Zeros for burning | Aug 13, 2004

Katsushige Nakahashi's work calls on several interesting themes - 'obsessional art' on the Japanese model, art for burning, that draws on Asian ideas of sacred devotional objects, and subject matter related to Japan's problematic history. There is a 'public' quality to this work as well, but this article in the Japan Times talks more about the artist's work in gallery spaces.

fibreglass cow stolen in Prague | Aug 5, 2004

Of the 241 fibreglass cows presented in this summer in Prague, more than 150 were vandalized in some way. And one was stolen, according to BBC. Does this mean the trend is on its way out? Or is this a sign of success?

Victoria unveiled at Istana | Aug 2, 2004

The statue of Victoria, one of Singapore's oldest works of public art, was unveiled to the public in a new setting at the Istana, the official residence of the Head of State of Singapore (what used to be the Governor's mansion).

picture by How Hwee Young, Straits Times
vandalism of Italy's statuary | Aug 1, 2004

A story in the weekend Asian Wall Street Journal [no link] talks about "a curious crime spree" in Venice and Rome - serious vandalism of the statuary of churches and palaces of these cities. Targets included the Doge's Palace, Palladio's Church of the Redeemer in the Guidecca and Bernini's fountain of the Piazza Barberini. The Venice attacks were the work of one man, known to have psychiatric problems. The Roman ones seemed more spontaneous. Roberto di Paola, Rome's Superintendent for Cultural Heritage says "These days the masses have taken over. People don't appreciate these precious things - the art, the beautiful life. They don't respect what they don't know. The price is incalculable."

abstract sculpture can be friendly | Jul 31, 2004

New York Times has a story on sculptures by Franz West at the Lincoln Center. (sorry registration necessary). Since when have you heard an art critic talk about "lovable" abstract sculpture. The review makes an interesting point about different readings for the same work in a gallery setting and in public.