Client: Xing Guang Hua City Construction / Here Your Art, Shanghai
Location: Chengdu, China
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $80,000
“O.T. 981 – Transformation of the Kite” is an art work, which is inspired by the chinese invention of the kite. It was built for the Light Art Festival “Light Up Bashu” in Chengdu (China), curated by Lumen Art Projects. Size: 12 x 10 x 7 m / Materials: Steel, gauze, metal strings, 2 projectors, 2 computers, LED controller, internet connection.
"O.T. 981 - Transformation of the Kite" is inspired by the chinese invention of the kite by philosophers Mozi and Lu Ban. Mozi (BCE 470-391) lived a century later than Confucius and wrote about the use of kites in China during his lifetime. After their invention kites were not only, but mainly used for military purposes, e.g. for measuring distances, calculating wind power and direction and lifting fireworks or observers.
Our main interest in kites were the facts, that their origin is chinese and that is a philosophical invention, which was then used for military purposes. Over centuries it was spread out over the globe and used for different activities, from sports, leisure to also religious significance.
The art work can experienced with the whole body and all senses - the sculpture invites everybody to step in and feel the dimensions of the „kite“. Together with the animation all visitors can dive into a contemplative interaction with the installation. We provide a link from the traditional chinese kite making to our western interpretation of the kite and emphasize the development of the kite from a military invention to a civil use today.
The contact to the Lumen Prize has always been a very special one, because the cooperation is characterized by great trust and deep respect. Huijun Guan asked me if I could create a design that deals with the cultural heritage of the Chengdu region. Sichuan is rich in a variety of achievements, be it the special form of opera, woodcut printing or elaborate embroidery.
The single "wings" of O.T. 981 were manufactured in Shanghai and then transported 2000 km to Chengdu. There they were built with the help of a crane and a team of ten. The gauze were already implemented in Shanghai, while in Chengdu then still the LED strings and the wiring were installed. To ensure the statics of the sculpture, a metal plate was embedded in the floor to which the sculpture was attached.
As soon as the whole sculpture stood, we started to set up the projection and then to program the LEDs. With competent help both for the projectors and for the LEDs, we could implement both in a short time and under great time pressure. At this point I can only thank the great organizers and the outstanding team.