Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fancy Animal Carnival in Civic Center

Manga costumed girls waiting for the Cherry Blossom Parade to begin posed Sunday morning in front of a public art project that has been installed in Civic Center Plaza for the month of April.

The 19 sculptures scattered across the plaza are colorful painted enamel over steel by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi, and pieces like Jubilant Double Sheep just about define kitsch.

Tourists seem to love them, including Sharing Elephant above.

The exhibit is being cosponsored by a consortium that includes the InSian Gallery in Taipei, the Taiwan-based Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation which is hosting a professional women's golf tournament at Lake Merced this week, and San Francisco City Hall.

On Tuesday at noon there was a public ceremony celebrating the consortium with a speech from SF Mayor Ed Lee who was flanked by a Chinese translator...

...as he praised various public servants such as (from left to right above) SF Arts Commission Director of Policy and Planning Jill Manton, Asian Art Museum Director Jay Xu, the new Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny, and SF Rec & Park Director Phil Ginsburg...

...along with the artist Hung Yi himself.

The signage created by the InSian Gallery is often unintentionally hilarious, such as that for Eagle Dove of Peace Buffalo: "Eagle is the national bird of the United States. The dove is a symbol of peace, friendship, united and holiness. As for the buffalo, it represents Taiwanese spirit."

In many respects, a sculpture like Money Frog above is perfect for the Ed Lee administration, enabler for so many greedy, corrupt characters in San Francisco.

Fortune Cat above has the description: "The God of Wealth brought a fish to the earth. And it became a "Fortune Cat." Fish represents wealth in Mandarin, and "Fortune Cat" collects all the wealthy fishes together, which means it gives good luck."

Horse Wealthy above is described, "Horse with gold sycee represents wealthy in the meantime. Hung Yi turns Mandarin words into painting as well as a symbol of fortune. It also brings up the meaning of fresh, successful, rich and bright future and ambition."


janinsanfran said...

Oh my. I walked among these the other day, but they were too meaningless to draw my attention. Is that possible?

Michael Strickland said...

Dear Jan: Yes, it's very possible. The sculptures, for all their brightness and detailing, are boring and mediocre. The SF Arts Commission people and the Asian Art Museum Director were good sports because they had to be, but they must have been embarrassed on some level.

As for Mayor Ed Lee, he couldn't have been more in Frog Money heaven. His terrible public speaking style was leavened by real enthusiasm today.

Hattie said...

Arggh! Crap is crap.

Michael Rodriguez said...

I found them full of meaning, but the meanings were, so to speak, encoded in Chinese characters, Chinese traditions, and Chinese lore.

Anonymous said...

exhibit was fantastic! my toddler & i absolutly loved each one. and could not spend enuff time appreciating all the motifs and references. of course, they look so ridable, and touchable. so my son got upset when he could not feed , pet and jump on them. simply wonderful. thank you!

stevenjared0853 said...

Exhibition was flawless!! These creativities are so pretty. The last one took my heart. I wish the local event location rentals also organize such amazing event. I would love to attend such creative shows!