Client: Xu Bing
Location: Beijing, China
Completion date: 2018
The challenge was to recreate Xu Bing's iconic 90 foot long Phoenix Birds that are originally fabricated from demolition debris, steel beams, tools, and remnants of the daily lives of migrant laborers into a scaled-down bronze version taken from a 3D printed model. We developed methods to increase efficiency which included modifying design elements for better probability of casting parts as well as fabrication of certain components.
The biggest goal was to not spend all our time and budget in the R&D phase due to its complexity. This meant going back and forth with the client over design elements and keeping key components that the artist absolutely needed. It's always hard to capture the "feel" of a piece but that was one of the main goals. How are we able to translate the intricate movements of a large scale piece to the smaller model?
We received a 3d printed model from the client which we then 3d scanned in. This allows us to pinpoint specifics and make adjustments easier and more accurately. We also filled and made all negative spaces draftable for molding as well as cutting smaller pieces and made a gang mold for our wax department to create many branches of them. In metal, many of the smaller details were fabricated such as the cage that sits on top of the bird's torso. It takes a very careful hand to put one of these birds together and to make sure everything will structurally withstand flexion. We also designed and fabricated the stands these birds are displayed on. Our team did and outstanding job with this complex sculpture and each edition we do we improve in our efficiency while maintaining the artistic quality of before.
For more info on the project visit our website: https://bollingeratelier.com/portfolio-xu-bing/