Stainless steel in new city artwork takes shape
Details of artist Seung Yul Oh's latest and largest sculpture, which will be erected in Hamilton next month, are top secret.
Until, of course, they start putting the various components together in public.
Philanthropic group Mesh is behind the work and it has a clear aim - to re-invigorate the city's arts culture without draining ratepayers' pockets.
It aims to commission and gift 10 nationally significant artworks to Hamilton over the next five years and Mr Oh's Te Pumanawa O Te Whenua - The Heartbeat of the Land is the first.
A public dawn blessing ceremony was held yesterday at Claudelands Event Centre, where the foundations are under way for the sculpture's installation.
The design will be kept secret until its official unveiling, but various schemes to keep it under wraps during construction were deemed a waste of money and discarded.
Some details were revealed yesterday when Mr Oh and Mesh members visited NDA Engineering on the Te Rapa straight, which is where the various components are being fabricated.
Project manager Tim Foote said it was made of 20-millimetre thick by 400mm wide strips of stainless steel.
The curved and straight sections will be polished to a slightly textured 320 grit.
All told it will be worth $290,000.
When designing it, Mr Oh took into account the site itself, the nearby building and its purpose.
"It's an events centre, so people perform. They come in for conferences or events. And there will be an audience," he said.
"It's made for people. I wanted something directly related to the building as well."
Mr Oh also had to take into account issues such as public safety.
"I hope people can see it as something that's there for them.
"That it's a very natural thing," he said. "I hope people can feel something from it, and that covers a lot.
"It could be physical, emotional, some kind of nostalgia, new ideas," Mr Oh said.
"As long as they feel something from it, I'll be happy."
SEUNG YUL OH
Multimedia visual artist. New Zealand citizen, born in Korea.
Holds a master's degree in fine arts from Auckland University's Elam School of Fine Arts.
Once deep-fried his paintings during a one-night-only exhibition.
Second recipient of the $80,000 Harriet Friedlander Residency in New York.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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