CK / ARTIST’S WORK  / Sculpture Department, Central Academy of Fine Arts

Sculpture Department, Central Academy of Fine Arts

The Sculpture Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts created and completed the campus public art work for the 80th anniversary of the founding of Beijing Foreign Studies University – “Never Ending”

The public art work “Never Ending” was commissioned by Beijing Foreign Studies University to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the founding of the School of Sculpture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. At the inauguration ceremony of the work, Secretary Gao Hong attended the unveiling ribbon-cutting ceremony on behalf of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. The inter-school cooperation between CAFA and BFSU stems from the establishment of the “Yanhe Alliance” red education base. In March 2019, in order to inherit and carry forward the party’s philosophy of cultivating morality and establishing a new type of higher education during the Yan’an period, and jointly improve the ability and level of talent training, nine universities including Renmin University of China, Beijing Foreign Studies University, and Central Academy of Fine Arts were established. “Yanhe Alliance” Red Education Base. The Central Academy of Fine Arts and Beijing Foreign Studies University are both members of the “Yanhe Alliance”. The completion of the public art work “Never Ending” is a successful attempt by the members of the alliance to carry out inter-school cooperation and practice the teaching concept of the new era of inheriting the red gene to serve the society. At present, this work has become a new iconic artistic and cultural landscape on the campus of BFSU, which well reflects the spirit of the new era of BFSU.

Gao Hong, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, attended the unveiling ceremony of Beijing Foreign Studies University’s New School History Museum, World Language Museum, and School Celebration Sculptures

Gao Hong, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Wang Dinghua, Secretary of the Party Committee of Beijing Foreign Studies University, Yang Dan, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee, and authors Zhang Wei and Hu Quanchun at the scene of the work

The creation and implementation of the work took nearly 6 months to complete under the auspices of Professor Zhang Wei, the head of the Department of Sculpture. Associate Professor Hu Quanchun, the deputy head of the Department, was responsible for the specific creation and execution of the work. The work “Never Ending” is located in the central square of Beiwai West Campus. Since its establishment 80 years ago, Beijing Foreign Studies University has cultivated a large number of high-quality foreign-related talents for China. Among them, more than 400 people have served as ambassadors abroad, and more than 2,000 people have served as counselors. The school has also won the reputation of “the cradle of diplomats of the Republic”. The concept of creation of the works stems from the interpretation of the spirit and mission of BFSU—communication, exchange, and connection. The form of the work is the visual and spatial expression of these three key words.

Site Analysis

The site where the work is located is a rectangular leisure green square surrounded by the gate of the West Campus and three main teaching buildings (foreign building, German building, and domestic building). The specific point of the work is selected at the westernmost end of the rectangular square. During the on-site investigation, we found that the gate of the west campus and the main teaching building (domestic building) facing west are not on the same axis, but there is a deviation of several meters, so two axes are formed in the east-west direction. The people on the filming site were troubled, and they always felt that the main teaching building (domestic building) was not in the correct spatial orientation. However, this trouble just pointed out the direction for the determination of the basic form of the work. Because, if the work chooses the vertical form, it will only highlight the sense of dislocation of the space. Only the horizontal form can blur the dual axis, making the work the focus of space counterpoint.

Work Morphology Generation and Creative Expression

If the determination of the basic shape of the work is the result of the analysis and optimization of the space site, how can the specific shape and space be generated? At this time, we had to re-examine the purpose of our creation – to reflect the spirit and mission of “communication, exchange and connection” of BFSU. In order to achieve this purpose, combined with the basic shape deduced based on the site, we finally chose the ellipse as the basic space prototype. A tension-filled ring arch structure is formed by undulating and stretching the ellipse in space. The ring has the metaphorical meaning of communication, connection, and infinite loop. The arched structure has a certain connection with the bridge form, which further reflects the role of BFSU as a communication bridge in foreign affairs and cultural exchanges. The ring-arch structure enables the work to have both an external “image” and an internal “space”. Therefore, this installation can not only be viewed, but more importantly, provides a space for people to participate and experience. The work is not only a part of the space environment, but also creates its own space field. In order to further enhance the readability and affinity of the work, the daily greeting “Hello” written in 101 languages ​​is engraved on the inner surface of the installation, and these 101 languages ​​just cover all the language majors of Beijing Foreign Studies University, showing the North Friendly greetings to the outgoing world.
Create concept sketches

Work shape deduction process

Materials and Technology:

The work is welded from 5mm thick weathering steel. The back of the text is lined with LED lights, which can emit a soft warm light at night. The use of weathering steel is to echo the outer wall material of the main teaching building (dark red terracotta brick), so that the installation is related to the surrounding environment. The use of weathering steel is in line with the spiritual temperament that the work intends to convey – it is full of tension and dynamism, but also has a heavy and majestic momentum. From a technical point of view, the text on the inner skin of the work is the most difficult part of the entire work production process. From digital 3D creation to manual implementation, creators and producers need to work together to perfectly restore the ideal effect. It is precisely because of these 101 kinds of greeting text messages that the works are “anchored” with the site, and it also makes the original cold abstract works warm.

Skin detail scrutiny

Title: “Never Ending”

Place of completion: West Campus of Beijing Foreign Studies University

Creation commission: Beijing Foreign Studies University

Art Director: Zhang Wei

Work creation: Hu Quanchun

Creative Team: Yuan Hang, Xiang Yu, Chen Songlin

Technical consultant: Mao Qinghu

Production unit: Beijing Jingzhi Culture and Art Co., Ltd.

Work size: 12 meters x 4.5 meters x 4.8 meters

Design time: March 2021

Completion time: September 2021


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