Thinking Globally in Human Scale

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Client: Central Connecticut State University

Location: New Britain, CT, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $200,000

Project Team

Artist

Kana Tanaka

Kana Tanaka Art, Inc.

Engineering

Mark Allyn

BVH Integrated Services, P.C.

Architect

Ed Bourget

Stantec

Industry Resource

Hugo Napier

Griplock Systems, LLC

Overview

Inspired by the five disciplines in the academic building: Anthropology, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Geography, the artwork seeks to unify and integrate these elements by using the “human” form in interaction with the “globe”.

Central Connecticut State University, Social Sciences Hall, New Britain, CT
Glass and stainless steel wire
15’ x 6’ x 16’

The artwork fills the open space with thousands of sparkling spherical glass beads. In the midst of it, a group of tinted blue beads form a large 6-foot spherical area that represents the “globe.”
To depict the long history of human beings inhabiting the globe, a human silhouette passes through the clear sparkly atmosphere and through the floating blue globe, creating negative space.

Goals

The goal of this suspended sculpture was to create a single artwork, which conceptually ties all the five different academic departments together. The piece was suspended in the intimate two story space above the hallway, which offers multiple viewing points: from the hallway below, from the second floor elevator landing, and from the south end looking through the depth of the piece.

Process

The collaboration was needed to create the connection point between the artwork and the ceiling as seamless as possible. The artist worked with the architect, engineer and the cable company to determine the reinforcement system above the ceiling material as well as each of the small parts used to suspend 10,000 handmade large glass beads.