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SCULPTURE: Zhengzhou Twister 5.5 meter tall carved granite sculpture

physical object
posted on 2020-07-27, 15:42 authored by John AtkinJohn Atkin

Weighing 37.5 tons Commissioned for 2nd Human – Nature International Sculpture Exhibition Zhengzhou Sculpture Park: China | Associated projects I. Exhibition of maquettes The 2nd Human-Nature 2019 China-Zhengzhou International Sculpture Exhibition Opened on March 1st: 2019 and now also on permanent display II. Conference & Lecture Conference and Lecture. John Atkin “The evolution of Zhengzhou Twister & other Artwork"

Zhengzhou Twister is an award-winning 37.5 ton, 5.5-meter-tall granite-carved sculpture, made at the invitation of the China Sculpture Institute & Zhengzhou Municipal Council for the City of Zhengzhou, Capital of Henan Province. Zhengzhou is an ancient city and centre of Chinese civilisation. Today it is central to the Chinese Government’s economic infrastructure plan linking China to the West as a modern-day “Silk Road” incorporating 70 countries and international organizations in Asia, Europe and Africa.

My sculpture is located in the 28,800 sq. meter, (’The Green Lung of the City’) Zhengzhou Sculpture Park. It was commissioned for the second Human-Nature 2019 China-Zhengzhou International Sculpture Exhibition. 2,316 proposals for sculptures were submitted by 855 artists from 51 countries around the world, including China. Forty-Eight sculptors were selected for this exhibition. I was the Invited International Artist


As well as CAD models of my sculpture, I produced a 70cm tall scale-maquette, used to guide skilled craftsmen who physically carved the sculpture in China. This maquette was later exhibited at the, Art Center of Zhengzhou Sculpture Park, from March 1, 2019: in The Human & Nature-China: Zhengzhou International Sculpture Maquette Exhibition. It is now part of the Zhengzhou Municipal People’s Government permanent collection.

What it is to be human is a topic, which has been explored through novels (Mary Shelly’s “Modern Prometheus”) to films, such as Ridley Scott’s “Bladerunner”. Zhengzhou Twister is the final iteration of a series of sculptures of mine that explores themes relating to human identity through the use of template patterns (common to the Fashion & Textiles industry), which I use as metaphors for the human condition. What we wear is the outward facing manifestation of how we want to appear to others.

My objective was to make a sculpture which possesses human characteristics without recourse to a banal figuration.


China Sculpture Institute

Zhengzhou Municipal Government

Zhengzhou Sculpture Park



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