Sculpture fest brings art closer to people

Li Qian
The seventh Jing'an International Sculpture Project opened this month, with 42 works displayed across the downtown Shanghai district through December 31.
Li Qian

The seventh Jing’an International Sculpture Project opened this month, with 42 works displayed across the downtown Shanghai district through December 31.

Other than the traditional exhibition site at Jing’an Sculpture Park, the sculptures have also been put on display at the Daning Jiuguang Center, the Guotai Jun’an Greenland, the Pengpu Xincun community, Shanghai Suhewan MIXC World, Sanquan Park, Shanghai Shixi High School, Zhen Ning Fresh Market, CITIC Square and Zhangyuan Garden.

“We’re trying to break the stereotype that art is something luxurious, far from the people. So, this year, we’ve extended the festival to an old neighborhood, a renowned school, a corner garden and even a wet market,” said Gong Mingjun, deputy director of Jing’an’s greenery authority. “Art will certainly be integrated into public life.”

The sculpture festival has attracted 28 artists from 16 countries, 10 of them Chinese. Here, we present some of the key pieces on display at Jing’an Sculpture Park.

Sculpture fest brings art closer to people
Jiang Xiaowei

'La Passerelle' (Walkway) by Katinka Bock

La Passerelle (Walkway)

By Katinka Bock from Germany

The work, comprising steel, metal, and tree, presents a spiral bridge passing over a tree. A sapling is planted under the 6-meter-long bridge, with its crown stretching to the center of the span.

At first, people will find visibility is good when standing on the bridge. But as the sapling grows, it will gradually obscure their vision. At that time, people will feel like they are hidden in green. So, basically, “time” is the core concept of this piece of work. It invites people to explore the intimate dialogue between architecture and nature from different angles, at different times.

The work got Bock nominated for the prestigious Marcel Duchamp Prize, the highest award for contemporary art in France.

Ever Time Balcony

By Juan Garaizabal from Spain

Garaizabal is globally acclaimed for his monumental public sculptures titled “Memorias Urbanas (Urban Memories),” which have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and the Expo Chicago.

He loves to recover significant elements of cities, filling gaps of extraordinary memories and generating debate on urban planning, history and the role of contemporary art.

“Ever Time Balcony” is one example. With its towering 20-meter visual presence, the sculpture features lines of Chinese architecture and shikumen (stone-gate) shapes, trying to evoke emotions and memories of locals.

Sculpture fest brings art closer to people
Jiang Xiaowei

‘Horizons’ by Jean-Marie Appriou


By Jean-Marie Appriou from France

Appriou’s sculptures are mainly inspired by mythology and imagination of a future world. Especially, the influence of ancient Egyptian sculpture is visible throughout his work as a hieratic and timeless expression. He sees the Egyptian boat as an imaginary life boat that ferries people from sunrise, their birth, to sunset, their death.

Boat is adopted in “Horizons” and the two astronauts aboard symbolize the quintessence of humanity. The sculpture allows people to immerse themselves in a poetic fusion of classicism and modern imagination amid the stars and the passage of time.

The work was exhibited at the 2023 Art Basel in Switzerland.

Shaved Ice (Landscape)

By Jim Lambie from the UK

Lambie is known for his colorful installation pieces made from familiar everyday materials, imbuing a pop-aesthetic into surroundings.

“Shaved Ice (Landscape)” consists of 15 vertical ladder installations arranged at varying heights and angles to produce an immersive environment.

A group of monochrome aluminum frameworks are filled with mirrored insets. The window-like mirrors capture both the static environment and the movements of viewers, producing an interactive maze of unexpected reflections akin to the self-splitting photographs and surrealist mises-en-scène of Marcel Duchamp.

Sculpture fest brings art closer to people
Jiang Xiaowei

Ram Katzir’s sculpture ‘Here’


By Ram Katzir from the Netherlands

The work invites us to be in the place and the unique time we find ourselves. It was inspired by the Chinese guardian dogs found in front of important buildings which are supposed to protect the important people there and to give luck.

Katzir connects thoughts with clouds because thoughts are like clouds; they arrive, stay awhile, and disappear. So, he has tried to design a guardian of thoughts — a cloud man and a cloud puppy — to ensure we have the thoughts that help us.

Special Reports