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Love is found where business meets art

Updated: 2018-08-30

By Zhang Lei, China Daily

Love is found where business meets art

Artist Yihong Hsu (third from left), general manager (operations) of Wharf China Estates, Christina Hau (fourth from left) and Italian architect Simone Carena (first from right). [Photo provided to China Daily]

Art is a universal language, and each individual artwork can convey its own emotional message. Chongqing IFS, the new center stage for luxury, fashion and lifestyle in Chongqing, advances its philosophy of promoting art and culture by integrating and promoting business and art. On Aug 11, they invited Italian artist and architect Simone Carena, founder of MOTOElastico Studio; and artist Yihong Hsu, to create a new public installation artwork entitled LOVE. FOUND..

This visually stunning work is composed of camellias, the city flower of Chongqing, and a giant panda, China's national animal; the large camellia tree is symbolic of vitality, while the giant panda, China's friendship ambassador, holding the camellia flower represents the sharing of the beauty of Chongqing with the world, while encouraging people to seek happiness and share their love of life with others. It is also Carena's first work in China.

Christina Hau, general manager (operations) of Wharf China Estates Limited says: "The completion of LOVE. FOUND. is a new, successful milestone for Chongqing IFS in its ongoing mission to bring international artistic creations to the local market, and is a manifestation of the artistic dialogue between Chongqing and the world."

The installation took the artists more than 300 days to create, from concept to completion. Standing 6.5-meter-tall and weighing 16 tons, the tree is made of steel and 100 red camellia flowers. The 12-meter-long panda weighs nearly seven tons, with a body made of stainless steel.

As one of the two creators of the work, Carena says that unlike some installation art that interacts with the public through high-tech or mechanical means, the artwork that creates this time is primarily a form of interaction with the public through a static display.

"I believe that when you visit the art installation, you can see that the head of the giant panda is not upright, but with a slight inclination to simulate the panda's charming naivety," he explains, adding, "at the same time, the body of the giant panda is chrome-plated.

"The surface of the panda is finished in chrome, which reflects the contours of the surrounding space, so that the urban environment can be integrated into the work. The movement of the art installation is in this reflection.

"We hope that through this art installation, we can attract everyone to stop in this ever-changing world, quietly think about it, and use static display to showcase a dynamic context," he says.

Carena is a renowned Italian artist and architect who was awarded the Knighthood of the Order of the Italian Star by the President of Italy in 2017 for his contribution to international culture exchange. He excels at elevating the public perception of urban public spaces with inspirational designs deeply rooted in the local culture.

Yihong Hsu, who is ethnic Chinese, is a veteran of 17 years in the design industry and has worked in Washington DC, Seoul, Shanghai and Hong Kong. She is noted for her skillful weaving of aspects of different local cultures into her works.

To Hsu, this collaboration with Simone is not only a communication between Chinese and Western cultures, but also articulates the determination of Chongqing to promote cultural and artistic dialogue between the city and the world.

At present, cross-border cooperation between large-scale commercial complexes and art has become a trend, one which Carena personally agrees with. "I think that wherever the master craftsmen are based, whether in China or the rest of world, they are using their own hands to create high-quality art.

"There's a lot of branding here in Chongqing, which is also an artistic expression. Through such a process, Chongqing is in line with art and establishes a dialogue, so that art has a connection with the city and its commercial complex itself." He says.

"The difference between art and merchandise lies in the fact that there is no way for art to transform you into a wealthy person, but to realize its own value by conveying a culture. Just like this art installation, we creates for Chongqing IFS, one of the values it expresses is love.

"The surprise that art can bring to consumers is not realized by an advertisement or sales language, but by the inspiration it can bring to the audience," he continues. "Many consumers, they will appreciate the works of art, they will also appreciate the high-quality goods here, both of which can bring happiness and surprise to them, so art and business have a common language."

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