China | 06.09.11
Imagine the scene. The NE Changchun City Urban Wetland Park has been a work in progress only a few days before thousands
of people gathered for the unveiling of the Great Stone
bearing the name of all the sculptors who participated in
the 12th International Sculpture Symposium. My name is 8th
from the top although it helps if you are 8 metres tall to
be able to read it.
I had been asked by the Committee to prepare a speech on
behalf of all the sculptors. I was on stage
with loads of Governors,Leaders, dignitaries, special guests
etc., yet I was the first to speak.
It went well and I even remembered to leave time after each
sentence for the translator to do her work. Some of the
sculptors came up to me after wards and congratulated me,
but more importantly said they felt I was saying the things
that they wanted to say, that I had represented their views.
One guy even requested a copy of the speech!
There were many speeches, a brass band played strident
music, there were fireworks, pigeons were let loose to fly
through a barrage of gold tinsel while sculptors received
Diplomas from officials.
Eventually attention turned to the 100 sculptures that adorn
this amazing park. Many people enjoyed a tour of the Park
from the comfort of electric open-sided mini-buses. The
Sculpture Park is one of a number of scenic areas covering
total 9.7 square kilometres.
While more landscaping work needs to be done and the
positioning of some sculptures need to be modified it is
amazing what has been achieved over the time we sculptors
have been in Changchun.
Where there was mud now there is
grass, where there was water now there are bridges over
water, where there were trees now there are magnificent
rocks and flowers seeking attention along with sculptures in
stone,metal and bronze.
The works to be cast in bronze are represented in the park
by fibre-glass replicas of sculptures. These will be used in
the casting process over the next 12 months.
Today has been a marvelous day for
so many people connected with this project and the weather
was perfect. I have included my speech here for interest’s
“Governors, Distinguished guests, Fellow Sculptors and
friends; good morning. I extend a warm welcome to you all on
behalf of the sculptors assembled here today.
This is a great day for all of those connected with the 12th
International Sculpture Symposium in Changchun (High- Tech
Development Zone) as it signifies the culmination of a great
deal of hard work.
This Symposium is the largest Sculpture Symposium ever held
with over 100 sculptors from 5 continents participating.
We sculptors offer our sincere thanks to all those who have
worked so hard to make this Symposium a success.
It has been a joy to work with our enthusiastic
interpreters. These students have promoted understanding
amongst a diverse group of people from diverse cultural
We sculptors also appreciate the effort put in by those
managing the work sites, the artisans and crane drivers
whose work has been indispensable over the past 6 weeks.
Their efforts have ensured our monumental sculptures in
stone, bronze and metal could be completed on time .
I am sure I can speak on behalf of all the sculptors
present when I say, thank you to the citizens of Changchun.
The on-going support you give to beautifying your city with
sculpture and sculpture parks will result in Changchun
becoming known worldwide as the ‘Sculpture Capital of