Taiwan Update 5—Dec. 25—Joel finishes sculpture


A number of people have written me asking to see the sculpture I am doing.  It was finally finished yesterday (Dec 25th for me).  The Festival closing ceremonies are this evening.  I am not sure where the sculpture will be displayed in the future, and, certainly, I could not get ideal pictures in my work space.


My theme, in keeping with Kaohsiung’s tradition as a harbor, was “A Walk Under Water.”  I used some scrap from a local scrap yard to create a tableau of sea creatures.  After visiting some local temples, I wanted to do a dragon as well.  It turned out by blind dumb luck, The “sea dragon,” I designed and built is, in Chinese myth, the king of the sea, sort of their Neptune.   I gave him a fish tail.  Anyway, the idea is the tableaus of sea creatures are set up around the “Hai Lahng Wahng” (Sea Dragon King) and the viewer can walk around among them all. 


I thank Mr. Huang Chun Hsiung, President of the Kaohsiung Lions Club and his aluminum extrusions firm for sponsoring my work.


I would like to also thank my fellow sculptors for help on this project.  My new friend, Mr. Liu, an organizer of the 2002 steel festival whose studio is at the other end of the pier, gave me free bolts, washers and any other scrap he had on hand. Mr. Frank Fang, a Taiwanese professor of art (formerly a bronze casting teacher at San Francisco Art Institute) kindly said not a word when I picked up and started using 8 or 9 of his scrap wheel rims he had planned to use (I thought they had been brought for me to use, and Frank simply arranged for more later), and David Lee Thompson of Berlin, working two tents down from me, who kept bringing me his scrap as he finished his pieces. All of the other sculptors sent over a few pieces of scrap.  My only regret is we did not have three weeks, so I could have had the dragon and fish sandblasted, primed and painted.         


Tonight, the whole thing will be hauled up on the central stage as the center piece for the closing ceremonies and I make a SHORT speech just before the mayor of Kaohsiung.


One final contributor to the sculpture was the huge friendly crowds of people, children and adults, who provided a warm atmosphere to work in and the good energy of an audience that always inspires an artist to do their best work.

  we had a constant stream of school groups come by

It's sort of hard to see the whole set up in my work

area, so the head is shown with a red arrow. 

A slightly better view. Our translator, Liya, in background.

   Three pictures of the Sea King Dragon  

  The Dragon's tail

  Fish and  wrench eel

happy fish

  jellyfish made from a wok

  sea horse, jellfish, clam, and squid

  fish from scooter muffler, hex nuts, grinding wheels

  squid made from a trowel bought in local hardware store

  dragon made as a gift for Mr. Huang, my sponsor.  Note, the red ribbon is

commonly tied on sculptures in temples.  The belief is a too real sculpture would come to life and cause havoc, so, since no self respecting super natural creature

would wear a red scarf, red scarves are tied on most of the sculptures in temples, keeping them unrealistic enough to be safe.   

   On right, Mrs. Huang and on left her daughter, Mi-ka