(Text by Reporter Huang Jingjing/ Photo by Reporter Yu Ruwen) After saying goodbye to the old friend, “Urban Fox”, Jing’an Sculpture Park meets the “Upside-down Truck”. On September 20, Shanghai Jing’an International Sculpture Project (JISP) 2018 was formally unveiled, at which 87 sculptures in 58 sets created by 40 artists from different countries made their stunning appearances. The exhibition will last to December 20. District leaders including Lu Xiaodong and Chen Yongdi attended the opening ceremony.
Since the first Sculpture Project in 2008, “Jing’an International Sculpture Project” has been a biennial exhibition, and the exhibition this year is the fifth session. Over the past ten years, “JISP” positioned itself as a high-end Chinese “public art” exhibition meeting the international standard. It not only introduced first-class works from all over the world into China, but also enabled Chinese public artists and their works to go abroad. The Sculpture Project this year follows the theme of “City Unbounded”, implying the expectation to “a prosperous city and the boundless future”. The quantity of exhibits, artists and countries participating in the exhibition this year exceeds that of the previous four sessions. This exhibition further extends its area, and regards Jing’an Sculpture Park as the main exhibition area, and Daning Park and Shibei High-tech Park as the extended exhibition areas. In addition, there are also indoor exhibitions in the art center of the sculpture park.
The “Upside-down Truck” is the work that Erwin Wurm, an Austrian artist, created for “Venice Biennale” 2017 on behalf of Austria. Audiences can enter the truck through a flight of steps, and reach to the viewing platform on the top after passing through the dark and narrow box. According to the sponsor, Erwin Wurm has captured the attention of the world with the “One-minute Sculpture”, which not only challenges the traditional definition of sculpture, but also fuzzes up the boundary between performance and daily life. As one of the works in the series, the work introduced this time titled Stand Quietly and Look out over the Mediterranean Sea will open a new vision for Shanghai audiences.
The “Astronaut Coming Late” adds spices to the exhibition and tells stories to the audiences this time. The work earning great fame at “Venice Biennale 2016” by Dutch artist Joseph Klibansky is still exhibiting in Amsterdam, the Netherlands now, and will be exhibited in Shanghai a month later. The work titled “Self Portrait of a Dreamer” presents an astronaut who supports himself to float in the space only by the backrest of a chair. The chair seems familiar as the one in the bedroom of Van Gogh, a famous painter. A pot of sunflowers on one foot of the astronaut helps him balance the body. The chair symbolizes the roots of the sunflowers that enable the flowers to flourish. This work is also for paying honor to Van Gogh.
This exhibition is also highlighted by the applications of high-tech and new media. “The Darker Side of Light” by Chinese rising star Feng Chen takes “shutters” as the art medium to try to analyze the synchronization between the sense of sight and the sense of hearing in videos, so as to let the audiences think about this question: Should we trust our senses, or admit that they may be lying to us? The sculpture titled “Triskaidekastack” by American artist Holloway is created by colorful head-shaped aluminum molds. The expressions on the face of each head linger among intoxication, doubt, and surprise, showing the sense of humor of the creator.
One day before the opening ceremony, JISP Public Art Forum was held. Multiple artists from countries including Spain, the Netherlands, the USA, and China aired their views freely to share their ideas about public art. The forum this time follows the theme of “City Unbounded”, and focuses on issues including “The Future of the Sculpture Project” and “How Could Public Art Enhance City Quality” to discuss the in-depth connection between art and city development, and their future trends.