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在线翻译:
szdaily -> People
Sculptor advocates art for everyone
     2015-May-8  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    “My goals were to spark people’s interest in art and teach them about environmental consciousness.”

    Sun Zhenhua

    SIXTEEN years ago, Shenzhen Sculpture Institute, led by Sun Zhenhua, worked with a Canadian design agency to create the “One Day in Shenzhen” installation, which is a unique homage to the people who make this city tick every day.

    Selected at random Nov. 29, 1999, 18 Shenzheners are depicted as life-sized bronze statues against a backdrop of black walls bearing information on what was happening in the city that day as well as general information on the city like an artistic time capsule.

    Prior to that, Sun realized that pop culture had taken root among Chinese people. Therefore, he deliberately altered the way he created sculpture works to stress the public character of art. “Art should serve everyone,” Sun said.

    In 2009, Shenzhen Sculpture Institute was renamed as Shenzhen Public Art Center. To Sun, the center was established so people can learn about art and children can play in it.

    At the end of 2014, Sun organized an exhibition in Central Park in Futian District that displayed unconventional sculpture works such as a stretch of discarded CDs on the surface of a river and 1 square meter of white ribbons closely planted around a tree.

    “My goals were to spark people’s interest in art and teach them about environmental consciousness,” said Sun. In fact, Sun, to some degree, opposes the traditional definition of what a sculpture is — a tall, majestic stone or bronze statue.

    In his opinion, anything in daily life can be turned into art. “If an electricity pylon looks too old, people can use wood to cover it up to change its form,” said Sun.

    Sun attributes his strong sense of public participation awareness to the generation he was born and grew up in. Born in 1956, Sun lived through China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), a time when scholars were persecuted and books were considered “poisonous grass.”

    When Sun was a student, the class shared several novels secretly. In middle school, Sun fell in love with poetry. He copied and recited all the poems and explanatory notes from the books he borrowed.

    “At that time, a lack of a transparent political system motivated people to discuss public affairs. Thus, people from that time have gradually developed a habit of expressing themselves,” said Sun, who has kept the habit of reading novels.

    He has experimented with many forms of expression. He gave up visually compelling paintings because they can’t express time. He believes the most powerful medium is video, but complicated technical requirements turned him away.

    He dreamed of being a novelist when he was young. “A writer usually considers his writings as the highest achievement,” he said. But he was not sure whether people would like his writings since many young people don’t read anymore, especially long novels.

    He is fascinated by writing, which is totally different from the literary reviews he is familiar with. “Sometimes when a few words come out, I get very excited and even burst into tears,” said Sun.

    Sun has lived in rented apartments in the city for more than two decades. He doesn’t want to exchange his freedom for the permanence of some square meters. Instead, he prefers to explore the world and satisfy his curiosity.

    When he was a child, he once spent a whole morning staring at a cook preparing lunch. When he came to Shenzhen, he was curious about people rushing on the street and sometimes stopped to ask street vendors a few questions such as why they came to Shenzhen, how much they could earn, and what they planned to do in the future.

    “I am curious about others’ lives. I believe that it is more interesting to be an audience member than an actor in life,” said Sun. He plans to stay in Shenzhen just to satisfy his curiosity. “The city is a melting pot and is constantly changing. Amazing things happen in the city every day. I also have a group of like-minded friends here,” said Sun.

    It used to occur to him that maybe he should move to the peaceful countryside hundreds of kilometers away from the metropolis. “I finally decided against it because I want to have more experiences in my life,” said Sun.

    However, Sun is not entirely satisfied with Shenzhen. He has many crazy ideas about the city’s landscape that would allow citizens to experience growth in nature.

    For example, he wants to grow crops on the sides of Shennan Boulevard so people can see the blossoms of golden canola flowers in the spring and white, soft cotton at the end of summer. He also wants to put fences around the two grassy areas in front of Civic Center and raise some cows and goats so people can see an idyllic farm in the middle of the bustling CBD area.

    “The process of urbanization in China has made people break off their relationships with the countryside and the soil. How could Chinese people leave the soil? They can’t because it is a call from their hearts and they can’t resist it,” said Sun.

    “It requires some imagination to develop a city. Crazy actions will make it special,” said Sun. “If those plants can be cultivated in Shenzhen, people will wait for them to blossom,” said Sun.

    Recently, Sun read the novel “A Dream of Red Mansions” on a plane. “Life is like a quiet river, but happiness and troubles are waves. We sail down the river though difficulties and good times,” Sun said. (Luo Songsong)

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