China | 15.08.11


Today I had a visit from the guy who manages the work site. He informed me that in 2 days time my sculpture, along with others, will be transported to the grassy slopes of the northern sculpture park where it will be assembled. I can do some work on the stones at the new site if I need to do so. In the meantime he has assigned 3 artisans to compete polishing the stones. The final polish will be done wet as this will bring out the beautiful colour of this extraordinary marble. The sculpture will have to withstand high summer temperatures and 6 months of winter snow and icy blast from the Gobi desert which can drop the temperature to -30 degrees.

The artisans and the crane driver and I decided it would be a good idea to test the lifting method that had been devised. It was a tense moment;the slings had finally been arranged utalising iron rods that had been positioned at 4 strategic lifting points on the top block of marble. Would the rods take the load, would the load be properly balanced, would they be able to position the top block accurately without a location pin in the base block? After a couple of false starts the lift got underway. All the questions were answered I am glad to say in positive way. I inspected the metal rods later and noted that 2 of the thick metal rods had bent somewhat under the load. That is something that will need attention before the final lift.

The more time I spend working on the stones the more I see needs to be done, to be fine tuned the work so that lines have a beginning and an end point, that curves flow and harmonious relationships are established between repeated elements. One of the young university students acting as an interpreter came up to me on the bus back to the hotel and said, “I like your work, it is profound, it is good”. Made my day.