“The Bell”, 2018, steel, 600 x 350 x 550 cm.

 Permanent Collection of the Taiyuan Municipality

 

“The Bell” is a steel piece consisting of a base partly buried in the ground while the rest of it supports a bell hung from a steel chain. The bell, 1.80 m. high, is a sculptured sound-box activated by a performer who enters it and sings while rotating it. The songs sung in the sculpture are from Bulgaria.

The sculpture’s weight works as a punishment to the person who pushes it. This is a comment on the primordial instinct of punishment and the way it has been embodied in Chinese culture and daily routine. This punishment is an inevitable part of the laborious piece and the only ticket to realization of personal goals.

With reference to traditional architectural elements which adorn the streets of the Chinese town Taiyuan, the base imitates the installations for the street lights, and the bell is designed after Chinese bell-towers housed in the Shanxi Museum. The metal parts that  adorn the bell’s body are symbolic. On the right and left there are two Chinese palm trees, which in Chinese mythology are birds that follow dragons in battles, symbolizing rebirth from the ashes of war. The piece was chosen, from among those of 42 young artists from China, Japan, Korea and Australia, by the Chinese Central Academy of Fine Arts, the Committee of Chinese Artists and the Municipality of Taiyuan.