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The Silk Road (large-scale sculpture)

physical object
posted on 27.07.2020, 15:46 by John AtkinJohn Atkin

The research for this piece of public sculpture, The Silk Road, entailed research of two kinds: (a) it was part of an urban regeneration scheme organised by the Fuzhou Peoples Government, representing the city’s long-standing status as an international port (and thereby outward-looking) and also its community status, next to the new Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium that hosted the first China Youth Games in 2015, and (b) it was to erected by local craftsmen under my supervision whereby there was a communal learning experience.

The competition to commission this work involved 3,000 applicants and it called upon extensive local knowledge as this city of some 18 million people needed a significant piece that could represent its artistic heritage whilst at the same time presenting a sense of its economic future. The result was a dynamic work: a 5 m. tall exploration of tension – in the wire work and torque – that referred to the nearby stadium and the energy involved in the passage from its marine past and its plans for the future to open itself to wider markets.

The sculptures highly polished surfaces also convey ideas of flowing arcing movements comparable to sporting athleticism. My earlier EPSRC funded project (Bridging the Gaps) enabled me to digitally explore the rotational pirouette of a Hammer Thrower using motion capture techniques. These findings filtered into the formal configuration of my Fuzhou sculpture.

Local craftsmen and women were employed to fabricate the sculpture under my supervision creating work and employment as well as an opportunity for skilled trades to demonstrate their craft to a national and outward-facing international audience.

My sculptures close proximity to the Olympic Stadium guaranteed a new substantial audience attending the China Youth Games: In addition, a catalogue, TV, and Newspaper coverage.

My sculpture won an Outstanding Award from the Organizers

Click here to watch fabricating the Silk Road with local craftsmen associated with Fuzhou.

The Silk Road (large-scale sculpture) 2015 to present day: Permanent Location: Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium, Fuzhou, China International Exhibition Opening: October 2015: Collection of Works of China Fuzhou International Sculpture Exhibition?To celebrate: The 1st National Youth Games China


Fuzhou Peoples Government



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