Zhang Huan Rising – Something’s Sweeping Through Toronto

Toronto Skyline Sketch

I’m not sure which I saw first. The creeping hands…The lashing tail…Fervent, frantic, fevered wings dipping into water…Or something else entirely…

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It was on University Avenue, Toronto. A sliver, gleaming, glinting thing that crawled along concrete, penetrated glass and even appeared in the fire-lit warmth of the Shangri-La Lobby Lounge.

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Well, what it turned out to be was a major piece of public art from the Chinese artist Zhang Huan, commissioned by the Asian based luxury Shangri-La brand and costing a rumoured 5 million or so dollars. Those trembling fronds represent doves of peace rather than hands of menace. What I thought was a twisting tail is supposed to be a tree that represents the crucial symbiosis between urban and natural landscapes, ecology and balance.

So…my interpretation was completely wrong. But who cares! I loved it as it caught the light from the sun as it sloped through the city by day and winked at the car lights that drove past by night.

I just enjoyed it. What do you think?

Zhang Huan Rising – What do you think?

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Toronto Rising Zhang Huan

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Zhang Huan Sculpture Toronto

Disclosure: this trip to Toronto came about thanks to thanks to iAmbassador, the Canadian Tourism Commission, Tourism Toronto and the Shangri-La Toronto. All y’know, the usual, all my own. As ever. As always.

What do you think?

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10 Responses to Zhang Huan Rising – Something’s Sweeping Through Toronto

  1. Linda February 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    I love it, from the photo at least. It may look different in RL,but I love that it’s something different!….just wouldn’t want the job nor the expense of keeping it clean!

    • Abi February 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      Ooh – I have NO idea how they keep it clean. I imagine one lone person toiling away every single day and by the end of the year he/she has finished…and it’s time to start again!

  2. Christina February 8, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    It’s so massive and yet so delicate – must have been hard to capture it?

    • Abi February 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

      Yes, I think it’s impossible to catch it all within one shot…it creeps up and through the sides of the building. But it was fun trying – and I’m sure I looked elegant every step of the way (ahem!)

  3. Harold Durie Finch, Major (retd) February 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    In my view.

    • Abi February 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      Glad you like it ;-)

  4. Faisal February 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Very nice!!! I’m going to check it out next time I’m in Toronto.

    • Abi February 17, 2013 at 11:59 am #

      Enjoy! And pop inside for a tea or cocktail too. There’s a lovely Asian-themed lounge.

  5. Lance March 2, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    Wow! Amazing photos. We’re going to Toronto in June and hope we’ll be able to see this. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

    • Abi King March 30, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      You’re welcome. Enjoy Toronto – and check out the shoe museum too if you have time. It’s far more interesting than perhaps the name suggests!

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