Conceptualizing Commissioned Sculpture
Sculpture and environmental projects offer various levels of metaphor and endless potential. This type of work always challenges and rewards the artist: I welcome these opportunities and will offer YOUNG BAMBOO IN WIND at the Hsinchu Culture Center in Taiwan as an example. Not all commissions are such large scale or international; however, it presented a classic opportunity for collaboration with a client committee, fabrication on location and interpretation in a unique culture.
Hsinchu means “young bamboo” and, after immersing myself in the history and culture of the country and people, the abstraction of a young bamboo stock leaning into the wind immerged: strong but flexible. The glass circle is the jade circle, Ba, a symbol of eternity within Chinese culture and a spiritual reference in my own work.
Taiwan is subjected to extreme weather with seasonal typhoons. Add the occasional earthquake and the structural component became critical. Hsinchu is an advanced technology region. Fiber-optic bundles run through the steel structure to the glass circle interior that individually illuminates 180 glass surface nubs. At night the lights pulsate rhythmically.
Hsinchu historically was a walled city and used the local river rock for the city gate and many old buildings. Three large stones of the same river rock are arranged near the sculpture to welcome the public to meet, sit and enjoy.