Shanghaiist headed over to Xujiahui Park last weekend to meet French artist Patricia Peides, who is visiting Shanghai to participate in the first Shanghai International Biennial Urban Sculpture Exhibition, part of the 2005 Shanghai Art Fair.
This four-month long exhibition features nearly 300 sculptures by 70 artists from China, England, France and the United States, aiming to improve the image of public art in Shanghai. Thirty-five sculptures are on display in Xujiahui Park, while the rest can be viewed at Mingyuan Art Center. Highlights of the exhibition including “The Return of the Hero” by South Korean artist Kim Seongu. An image of Liu Xiang, the Olympic gold winner from Shanghai, the abstract metallic sculpture reflects the rise of all of China, according to the artist. Meanwhile, French artist Arman‘s last works, “Totem” and “Harmonious Symphony” are also on display. Arman, who passed away at the age of 76 last month, is said to have had an affinity for Shanghai. His other works appeared several years ago here and always “wow” the audience in Shanghai.
As Shanghaiist was talking with Patricia in front of her sculptures, “Pink” and “Blue Tigers”, she was happy that many people came to appreciate the artworks — but we both frowned when people sat or leaned on the sculptures to pose for photographs.
A survey conducted by Shanghai Urban planning department last year says (news in Chinese) there are 1,034 urban sculptures in Shanghai but only 10 percent of them are “excellent” art works, 80 percent are “mediocre”, while the rest is just “garbage”. Shanghai will have at least 100 landmark sculptures before 2020. It’s understandable Shanghai wants to paint a beautiful image of its public art by inviting international artists, but the first, there is one thing we need to learn — stop sitting on art.
Shanghai International Biennial Urban Sculpture Exhibition runs at Xujiahui Park, cross of Hengshan Lu and Wanping Lu (徐家汇公园，衡山路，宛平路交界）until March 17, 2006. Also at Mingyuan Art Centre, 1199 Fuxing Zhong Lu (明圆文化艺术中心, 复兴中路1199号), 6473 8383