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From dressing sculptures in tulle to David in Chongqing, the evolution of urban sculpture has witnessed 40 years of reform and opening up

From dressing sculptures in tulle to David in Chongqing, the evolution of urban sculpture has witnessed 40 years of reform and opening up

(Summary description)From dressing sculptures in tulle to David in Chongqing, the evolution of urban sculpture has witnessed 40 years of reform and opening up

From dressing sculptures in tulle to David in Chongqing, the evolution of urban sculpture has witnessed 40 years of reform and opening up

(Summary description)From dressing sculptures in tulle to David in Chongqing, the evolution of urban sculpture has witnessed 40 years of reform and opening up



Visitors rest beside a bronze replica of the original mould of the David sculpture.


A bronze replica of the original mould of the world famous sculptor Michelangelo's "David" sculpture.

  Last weekend, the original bronze replica of the world-famous sculptor Michelangelo's "David" sculpture settled in Chongqing, brushing up the public's circle of friends and attracting many people to make a special trip to hit the card during the weekend. Nearly 40 years ago, the four human sculptures of "Spring", "Summer", "Autumn" and "Winter" on the Yangtze River Bridge could be considered the beginning of urban sculpture in Chongqing, and in recent years more and more sculptures and public artworks have been standing on the streets of Chongqing. From the controversial design of "Spring", "Summer", "Autumn" and "Winter" in the beginning to the sought-after "David" sculpture today, Chongqing's urban sculptures have also witnessed the liberation of people's minds over the past 40 years of reform and opening up.

  40 years ago

  The sculptures are finally unveiled in a 'veil'

  In 1979, the Chongqing municipal government proposed to erect four sculptures at the head of the Yangtze River Bridge, which was under construction, to showcase the landscape of Chongqing. "The sculpture department of Chuan Mei was responsible for the creation work, and at first we made more than ten proposals, but no one was satisfied." Long Dehui, one of the authors of this group of sculptures and former head of the sculpture department at Sichuan Mei, recalls the creation process back then, in which 11 artists participated: "Sports themes, dance themes, images of workers, images of farmers and so on, we all made proposals, but always felt that they were not quite perfect, until later the concept of using the four seasons to create them was proposed and we finally reached an agreement. "

  According to the design, "Spring" is a young girl holding a flower, "Summer" is a young man fighting in the water, "Autumn" is a working woman holding an ear of wheat, and "Winter" is a young man fighting in the water. "Winter' is a robust man approaching old age. However, when the design was announced, it caused a lot of controversy in the community. According to media reports, some bus drivers objected to the design, saying that "with a naked woman on the bridge, drivers might drive their cars into the Yangtze River if they saw it", and some hospital nurses objected to the design, saying "why only do naked women and have fun with lesbians". ...... Because of the above controversy, the design was once rejected.

  Another sculpture author, Wang Guan B, a retired professor from the sculpture department of Chuan Mei, said in a media interview that after consultation with experts, "without affecting the idea of the theme and the dynamics of the characters, we dressed the sculpture in tulle by adding patterns to the cuffs, collar and other places."

  On 26 September 1984, after more than three years of work, the four sculptures, made of cast aluminium, were officially completed at the Yangtze River Bridge in Chongqing, and in 1987 they were awarded the National Outstanding Urban Sculpture Award. Wang Guanbei said that this was an inevitable stage of change in people's ideology at the beginning of reform and opening up: "The Yangtze River Bridge bridge sculptures went from being completely nude to wearing muslin, and the process of debate was also a process of ideological liberation, from consternation and criticism to understanding and acceptance of body art, and Chinese people's minds were becoming more open and tolerant with the pace of reform and opening. "

  20 years ago

  Sculpture enters the commercial pedestrian street

  In 2000, the Jiefangbei pedestrian street was expanded to include Baji Road, and the Baji Road Yummy Street sculptures, created by Sichuan Fine Arts professor Xu Guangfu, Yu Zhiqiang and other artists, also appeared on the pedestrian street, whether it was three girls shopping or an old man eating hot pot, all together with various cuisines, becoming the symbol of Baji Road Yummy Street. This group of sculptures was also the first urban sculpture work to appear on a commercial pedestrian street in Chongqing.

  In 2003, a group of sculptures called 'Coming and Going' appeared on Yangjiaping Pedestrian Street, the first group of colourful sculptures to appear on the streets of Chongqing - a red and a blue giant shopping bag, each carried by a hovering hand above. The author of this group of sculptures, the famous sculptor Jiao Xingtao, recalls that back then Yangjiaping Pedestrian Street wanted to place a group of sculptures with a fashionable atmosphere and asked for something different from the common ones in the past. "At that time I came up with the idea of using the concept of 'shopping' (shopping), which had a great deal to do with the fact that many supermarket chains were appearing one after another in Chongqing at that time." After the first foreign supermarket Carrefour opened in Chongqing in 1998, various brands of supermarket chains appeared one after another in Chongqing, "the emergence of supermarkets has changed people's shopping habits and consumption patterns, people often do not shop for shopping, and shopping bags with brand logos is a symbol."

  Of course such colourful and ahead of its time design of urban sculpture, can appear in the streets also experienced a twist. "At that time, we constantly communicate with the relevant departments, publicize the design scheme and tell their design ideas." In Jiao Xingtao's view, "It was also a process of getting people of all different professions and identities, to understand urban public art." Eventually, people saw the sculptures in the streets.


  Michelangelo's 'David' settles in Chongqing

  A few days ago, Chongqing's circle of friends was swept up by the "David" sculpture, which came all the way from Italy. As many of you know, the sculpture "David" is known as one of the "Three Masters of the Renaissance", the famous Italian sculptor Michelangelo's masterpiece, whose original work is now collected in the Florence Academy of Fine Arts Museum. In Florence, there are also two David statue replicas placed in public places for exhibition, one is the bronze statue in the middle of Michelangelo Square, the other is the marble statue in front of the main gate of the town square, these three "David" statue all year round to attract people around the world to visit.

  The reporter learnt from Chuan Mei that the David, which has travelled across the sea from Italy to Chongqing, is a bronze replica of the original work. The original mould was used in 1910 to make a replica of the statue of David in the centre of Michelangelo Square in Florence. The statue of David that has come to Chongqing is 5.5 metres high, with a 1.88 metre high plinth, weighing 1200 kilograms, and is made of the exact same bronze and dimensions as the statue of David in the centre of Michelangelo's square in Florence.

  The David is located in Chongqing on the left side of the gate of the Chuan Mei Museum of Art in the university city, and can be observed not only by students of Chuan Mei, but also by citizens who come to Xijie for free at any time. Mr. He, who has already been to the card, told reporters that he had actually visited the David sculpture when he traveled to Italy before, "I didn't expect the David to come to my hometown, so I asked my friends to go together to see it again." Many students from Sichuan Beauty were even more excited, "I could only practice against the plaster head of 'David' before, but now I can directly see a sculpture of the same size and material as the original, and this feeling is completely different."

  What can "David" bring to Chongqing?


  "If you don't go to Florence, you can see 'David' in Chongqing! I want to go to Chongqing!" "One more place to visit in Chongqing!" On the day the David sculpture was completed in Chongqing, the reporter saw many friends from outside the city in his circle of friends, who seemed more excited than the locals in Chongqing, which is actually the publicity and promotion of a city sculpture.

  "As a custom-made 'David' sculpture for Sichuan Fine Arts, it certainly helps the teachers and students to improve their creative level." Jiao Xingtao, vice president of the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts and president of the Chongqing Sculpture Society, said that from the very beginning of looking at the flat picture book, to later looking at the three-dimensional plaster, and then to now being able to view the original work such as the big one up close, "for art students, it definitely helps the practice of basic skills, and then improve the level of creation."

  And good urban public sculpture for a city has the potential to determine the city's charm. "Today the core of the city's charm lies in the charm of culture, a city has no attraction, depending on its culture has no strong charm, and urban public art, such as sculpture, is the most visible, the most direct performance." Jiao Xingtao believes that "good urban sculpture bears the responsibility and mission of transmitting the charm of the city, but also in one aspect determines the artistic quality and artistic height of a city."

  Jiao Xingtao also suggests that good urban sculpture needs to be selected by the times and culture: "We can work hard to make good urban sculpture, but good urban sculpture is not that deliberately presented, it ultimately needs to be selected by the times and culture, while the richness of the culture is also important, and cannot be made simple symbolic generalisation."

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