Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Public Sculpture as powerful branding of a place, state or country

From the global perspective, I believe that Public Art is an effective mechanism in fostering civic pride and may bring out the patriotism feeling within a population or a community. The existence of a public sculpture in a public space breaks the otherwise rigid environment and imposes some kind of dynamicity of the chosen place. Public sculpture reinvents the urban atmosphere of a place and would encourage tourism, regenerate urban economies, beautify city spaces, and foster a sense of identity.

Art is expected to attract investments and visitors to cities, create place identities, and promote civic belonging.

Public sculpture is one of many elements constituting to a comprehensive urban context and would be an effective tool to project or manifest a certain aspect of culture or contemporary issue in society.

The symbolism and manifestation found on public sculptures give clear evidence of its rich characteristics and may leads to healthy public criticism and discourses.

Public Art tends to urbanize one’s environment or at least inculcate aesthetics within it, where sometimes, it acts as a symbolic turning point from the past to the future. It can make a major contribution in giving a place character and identity and brings people into and through places.

The fundamental elements in characterizing Public Sculpture

Propagating the idea of public sculpture as participatory and accessible to the general public. Instigating the idea of public sculpture as beneficial in terms of possessing positive recreational values through promoting healthy lifestyles and utilizing public sculpture as alternatives in society’s recreational activities. Public Sculpture being a benchmark for the future recreational activities and settings.

Cities are judged for outputs in ``performances, expressive work, ideas and symbols'' (Scase and Davis, 2000, cited in Julier, 2005, page 875),

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Celebration of Sarawak

Reflecting on my first commissioned public sculpture 15 years ago, a work primarily made of copper, mild steel and aluminum located alongside Sarawak Kuching waterfront. It was a public sculpture competition organised by SEDC (Sarawak Economic Development Corporation) under the helm of Datuk Effendi Nawawi. I was 34 and was competing against more than 100 participants (artists from all around Malaysia & various design companies, art institutions etc). My registration number was 076 and when I submitted my design proposal I was a bit overwhelmed considering the quality of artists and companies involved in this competition. At that time I thought my chance of winning was pretty slim. Two months after the date of the final submission I was shocked when a letter from SEDC arrived and announced my work as the winning entry.