Sculpture arrives at Claudelands

Seung Yul Oh's latest and largest sculpture

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 12:52 09/11/2012

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Anyone who fails to relate to the ''Beat Connection'' sculpture being erected outside Claudelands Events Centre should check their pulse.

Only the walking dead could stare at the stainless steel structure and miss the relevance to the location.

For philanthropic arts group Mesh, it's an exciting time.

''Te Pumanawa O Te Whenua - Beat Connection'' is the first of many works to be gifted to the city at no cost to the ratepayer.

For artist Oh Seung Yul, it marks the final stage of creation for his largest sculpture to date and he's excited to see it ''where it belongs''.

Beat Connection's theme was top secret until it was unloaded this morning.

Sneak peek of Seung Yul Oh sculpture (2012) from mesh sculpture hamilton on Vimeo.

Mesh considered hiding it from the public with scaffolding until the official opening on November 19 but decided it was an unacceptable waste of money.

Mesh chairwoman Nancy Caiger said it's hard to tell how Hamilton residents will react.

''People always like to see the negative rather than the positive,'' she said. But the fact that it's privately funded should silence the pessimists.

Many members of the city's arts and business community have contributed with cash or services-in-kind to deliver what is the largest arts gift to Hamilton in years.

Seung Yul's creation is certainly site specific.

Remember Sonny Bill Williams and his bouncing, nervous energy before cracking Clarence Tillman III in the ring in February?

Remember the more than 4000 fans whose blood pressure rose and fell during the rodeo-come-rock-concert last November?

Now think of the excitment, frayed nerves and relief to come as the Claudelands Events Centre brings more and more events to town.

Beat Connection is more than symbolism though.

Seung Yul designed it for people to interact with and it features four flat seats as well as sit-able curved sections.

Today though, NDA Engineering, who fabricated the Beat Connection over the passed month and a half, just want to erect each section and weld them into place.

The component parts were shipped across Hamilton from Te Rapa this morning before rush hour traffic.

Each piece was delicately craned off the truck.

Another crane arrived at 9.30am to stand each piece up on its foundations.

Project manager Tim Foote is ''very happy'' with their work and expects it to be done by next Thursday.

As for its reception, he expected some people would like it, others wouldn't.

Long-time Hamilton resident and Waikato Times chief photographer Peter Drury liked the Beat Connection as soon as it was lifted off the truck.

''I think once it's up, I'll like it a lot more,'' he said.

Ms Caiger said the good thing about the project is the ''positivity'' surrounding it and the amount of people who got on board to work together. ''It's the unify factor and the collaborative effort that's happening in Hamilton that I find absolutely wonderful.'' 

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