Client: Shatou University, Shatou, China
Location: Shatou, China
Completion date: 2015
Artwork budget: $50,000
Shan Shan Sheng
Public Art Agent
Curator Ma Tao, Shantou University Public + Art Design Program
Earth Iron is a new series of sculptures, public works assembled from recycled and surplus materials in the natural yet industrial landscape of contemporary China. Earth Iron explores the possibility of recycled material in the landscape surrounding our urban centers. How can public art sculpture create new monuments, new experiences of this discarded material? This initial project, part of a larger installation series, was recently completed while in residency at Shantou University's public art design program December 2014-January 2015.
The goals of this commissioned project are to highlight the renewal and repurposing of industrial material, installed to juxtapose with the natural landscape, signaling the layers we leave behind with our contemporary technologies and industries. The work celebrates reuse and new life, each work's surface offers a vivid, mineral palette from the patina of time. There is an unexpected warmth to these industrial fragments.
In my work as an artist, I primarily work with abstract painting, organic forms, and with architectural and Venetian glass. In this series, I am exploring the natural pigment color and abstraction previously found in my glass objects and paintings, but with a new approach to site and the monumentality of these repurposed materials.
The students at Shantou University's public art and design program collaborated with me to fabricate the project during the Public Art Festival/Symposium. As a visiting artist, I taught a master workshop class on installation and creating large works for the public. It was an amazing experience to activate the contemporary Chinese landscape with new forms.