public art: home : archives : Oct 2004


Sep 2004 > Oct 2004 > Nov 2004

search for Hans Christian Andersen's bust | Oct 23, 2004

This from Pakistan's Daily Times: a reward is offered for a bust of Hans Christian Anderson which disappeared from a Sydney, Australia park sometime in the 1960s.

"the bronze bust, which was reported to be about two metres (six feet) high and was created by Danish sculptor Wendy Sonning, had been presented to the children of Sydney and placed in Phillip Park in downtown Sydney in 1955 to mark the 150th anniversary of Andersen's birthday."
Durga in sand... | Oct 23, 2004

PURI: Sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik gives the final touches to a huge sand sculpture of the Hindu goddess Durga with a demon on the beach. Photo courtesy of AFP.

World's largest scrapmetal sculpture? | Oct 19, 2004

Wired story on an improbably museum/installation/junkyard somewhere in Wisconsin, USA. Ah, to have the *space* to do this kind of thing...

Art in Arizona | Oct 18, 2004

Two different stories from one place: Scottsdale, Arizona. One, the city has decided to invest in artist-designed manhole covers. Two, a James Turrell installation (or "skyspace") needs repair. How important it is to budget restoration and repair for public art...

the changing symbolism of the Singapore lions | Oct 14, 2004

Joel Kahn gave a seminar presentation yesterday at the Asia Research Institute, in which he showed a short video clip from the P.Ramlee film Labu dan Labi. The film opens its brief establishing segment with a shot of Singapore's Victoria Theatre clocktower, a common image in P. Ramlee films of "the big city". The next shot, if I recall correctly, is of the Nolli lions at the entrance to the Nicoll Highway, followed by a few shots of traffic on the highway itself. Interesting: these lions are now a clear symbol of the Singapore state, and in particular of its military (they now rest at the officer training school). But in 1962, when the film was made, they were a symbol of the big city, Singapore in particular perhaps, but still the "big city" with all its perils and rewards. An example of Singapore's public art serving very specific, very different roles over time.

Kahn's argument was that there were alternative images or stories of Malayness still around during P. Ramlee's time. He reads one of the film's characters, Haji Bakhil, as a negative stereotype of this alternative Malayness - the entrepreneur, a city-dweller, immigrant from Sumatra probably, very business-minded and dedicated to a particularly public reformist but activist Islam.