Sculpture erected at city's artistic heart

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 05:00 10/11/2012
Seung Yul Oh
Peter Drury/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Seung Yul Oh inspects his newly assembled sculpture.

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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 Seung Yul Oh 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 yesterday morning.

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 was hard to tell how Hamilton residents would react.

"People always like to see the negative rather than the positive," she said.

But the fact that it was privately funded should silence the pessimists, Ms Caiger said.

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

Yesterday, NDA Engineering, the company that fabricated the Beat Connection over the passed month and a half, erected each section and welded them into place.

The parts were shipped across Hamilton from Te Rapa yesterday, before rush hour traffic and delicately taken off the truck using a crane.

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 completed by next Thursday.

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- Waikato Times

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