Fine sculptures add to the culture of a city in many ways, bringing a touch of art, history and excitement to streets and squares. In Shanghai people can find those cheerful metal, wood and stone slices of life around Jing'an district and Huaihai Road West, and there are even more in the confines of major galleries and museums.
Soon one of Britain's leading sculptors, Tony Cragg, will bring a collection of his works to Shanghai for a special exhibition at the Himalayas Art Museum in Pudong New Area. This acclaimed and award-winning artist, best known for working with "junk" and producing elegant and emotive works, will be showing 49 of his large sculptures and 127 of his works on paper.
Many of his works are seen at their best in cities all around the world where the figures and shapes bring new delights to parks, city streets and public venues. But in Shanghai, even without Cragg's works brightening the streets and parks, there are many examples of sculpture to be found, especially in these three major exhibition areas which are each worth a visit.
Jing'an Sculpture Park
Jing'an Sculpture Park is the only downtown city park dedicated to sculpture. Since it opened in 2008, the park has exhibited 18 different series including 24 pieces by acclaimed international artists Philippe Hiquily from France, Barbara Edelstein from the US and Arne Quinze from Belgium.
Arranged across the park the sculptures are set in lawns, hedges and steps, each fitting its surroundings harmoniously. The most regular visitors are the local residents who come there to dance or exercise. They love the park and the sculptures - their favorite is US artist Peter Woytuk's The Everlasting Moment on the Plain. Woytuk's languid bronze bulls are both delightful and awe-inspiring and just about every visitor reaches out at some time to touch and feel these great metal beasts.
The park has a variety of offerings and views and can be reached from three gates on Shimen'er Road, Beijing Road West and Chengdu Road North. Gate 1 on Shimen'er Road and Gate 3 on Chengdu Road North are linked by a long path which acts as a display area for temporary exhibitions. Phase I of the park covers 30,000 square meters and Phase II, still under construction, will spread over 36,000 square meters. The new Shanghai Natural History Museum is also being constructed inside the park.
Every two years the park is the home for a two-month international sculpture exhibition which attracts works from leading artists from throughout China and around the world. This year the exhibition will open on September 20 with its official launch there on September 19.
The park blends its artistic roles with ecology and features a carefully-selected series of attractive and appropriate plants, flowers and trees throughout the year.
Opening hours: 5 am to 9 pm
Address: 128 Shimen'er Road, Jing'an district
Tel: 021-5228 9562