Why are you laughing? $1.5M secures Vancouver’s beloved smiling statues, but what do they really mean?
Posted by satyrikon στο Αύγουστος 11, 2012
They are crowd pleasers, to be sure. Fourteen figures, larger-than-life self-portraits by a renowned Chinese artist who conceived and crafted them from bronze. Grinning from ear to ear, every one. That’s Yue Minjun’s trademark, after all. He applies it to all of his work.
Known collectively as «A-maze-ing Laughter,» the 14 pieces were installed beside Vancouver’s scenic English Bay three years ago, as part of a public sculpture initiative. They became an instant hit. Children love them. Grown-ups, too.
But they were always intended as a temporary installation. All 14 pieces — each weighing 250 kilograms — were to be returned to artist Yue last year. The deadline for their removal was extended to the end of this month. They would have to go, unless someone could meet Mr. Yue’s $5-million asking price, buy the work, and keep it in town.
That seemed a dim prospect until Mr. Yue kindly…
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