Held by arts.culture.sohu.com, “2012 First National Top Ten Ugly Sculptures Accreditation” opened at Beijing Today Art Museum on December 19, 2012.
All the city sculptures attending this accreditation are non-temporary sculptures in public spaces, and it starts from the First City Sculpture Conference during the Reforming and Opening of China. The sculptures originated in the selection of ugly sculptures by the public on the website, and a final result from dozens of city sculptures is released on sohu.com. The accreditation and vote lasted three months, 4983916 votes in total were received, ten sculptures stand out from the 59 sculptures in the final appeal of “2012 First National Top Ten Ugly Sculptures Accreditation”.
The press conference of “2012 First National Top Ten Ugly Sculptures Accreditation” was held on the ground floor of the No.3 Exhibition Hall of Beijing Today Art Museum at 10:00 am. Guests attending included Prof. Sui Jianguo, from the Department of Sculpture, CAFA, Wang Mingxian, Deputy Dean of Architectural Art Institute affiliated to the Chinese National Academy of Arts, Bao Pao, a famous artist, Wu Shaoxiang, a sculptor, Liang Kegang, Director of Yuan Art Museum, Xu Liang, Editor in Chief of “World Art”, and Lei Jianqiao, Editor-in-Chief of culture.sohu.com.
The list of the accreditation was initially announced: top1: sculpture “Life” in Wuhan, Hubei Province, top2: sculpture of stilted houses “Memory Mountain Town” in Chongqing, top3: sculpture “The Soul is out of the Body” in Kunming, top4: sculpture “Nude” in Kunming Grand View Garden, top5: New marker of Wangjing District in Beijing, top6: sculpture of Zhang Ziyi in Yongchuan, Chongqing, top7: sculpture “Supporting the Old” in Guilin, Guangxi Province, top8: sculpture at the front of Zhengzhou Central Plain Fu Tower, top9: sculpture at the front of the library of Northwest University of Politics and Law, top10: sculpture “Ten Dragons Lying on a Turtle” in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province.
Bao Pao thought that it was a public accreditation, and it was the first time for the Chinese public to comprehensively inspect the developing situation of the modern city culture of sculpture, which displayed a rather serious problem in contemporary art. He believed that the significance of this event was to help Chinese contemporary sculptors to learn what was “modern sculpture” that the public were familiar with, and to improve their creations.
Wang Mingxian also said that the accreditation was a rather important cultural event, which not only explained that the public closely followed municipal culture, but also revealed the awakening of the public’s awareness of the visual aesthetic. He thought, “it is only at the beginning, the accreditation results directly stand for the thoughts of the public, expressing their attitude and their anger to “ugly sculpture”, as well as the expectation of the Chinese municipal culture. Therefore, we shall play more attention to the development of municipal culture and the construction of public sculptures, etc. from now on, all of which deserves our thinking.” At the same time he hopes that Chinese culture has an improved development.
Sui Jianguo said frankly that he had thrown himself into the research of sculpture over a number of years, but he participated in this activity because he admired the social responsibility of Bao Pao and Wang Mingxian, and he would like to support them.
As the main co-organizer of the media of this activity, Xu Liang, Editor in Chief of “World Art” magazine, thought that the emerging city sculptures have enriched the spiritual life of the public, but there were a large number of ugly sculptures with twisted subjects during the development of city sculptures. It was meaningful to select the top ten ugly sculptures across China, firstly, we know the important role of city sculpture in our life, improving people’s knowledge to art and particularly modern art, and increasing their attention and understanding of city sculptures, secondly, although some of the sculptures are from the government and are important works by old artists, they are the products of the times and history. As public art, it is certainly the case that there is a limitation of vitality and value. Public sculptures should reflect the spirit and culture of a city, whose most important attributes are being epochal and contemporary, if an inferior vintage work emerges in a modern city, it happens to be a blasphemy to the city aesthetic style and the taste of the public.
The discussion themed “Construction or Deconstruction: City Sculpture and the Development of Contemporary City” was held at the Today Art Museum at 14:00 pm. Wang Mingxian was the academic advisor, and more than 20 artists and scholars, including Yang Dongping, Qiu Huadong, Chen Dayang, Ye Tingfang, Chu Chen, Wu Hongliang, Zhang Feng, Liu Libin, Chen Wenling, Wu Shaoshuang, Jing Yuwen, Gu Zhenqing, Duan Jun, Fan Weimin, Duan Xichen, Lu Jing, Wang Yonggang, Bao Pao, Liang Kegang, He Guiyan, Xu Liang, Lei Jianqiao, etc., attended the discussion, and expressed their in-depth views on the accreditation.
The construction process of city public sculpture is a game of city public space between city managers, sculptors, real estate developers and entrepreneurs, and the public in city. The beauty of public sculpture needs favor from the four forces, especially in needed is the aesthetic inspection of the public, the governor should accept more advice and suggestions by experts and artists, respecting the law of art.
Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue Wang