Giant panda scales Chengdu mall

By Gan Tian ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-03-17 07:24:04

Giant panda scales Chengdu mall

A giant panda scaling the facade of the Chengdu International Finance Square is a super-sized piece of public art by Lawrence Argent. Photos Provided to China Daily

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His bold public art installations have made him a household name in the United States, and now Australian sculptor Lawrence Argent has brought his playful approach to China. Gan Tian reports.

Lawrence Argent is known for his giant public installations - a red rabbit leaping through an airport and a blue bear peeping into a convention center.

In his first project in China, the Australian sculptor has installed a giant panda in a shopping mall.

The 15-meter-high artwork, I Am Here, hangs on the top floor of the newly opened Chengdu International Finance Square. Viewed from afar, the giant panda appears to be climbing the building.

"It (the panda) is an icon of China in many ways," Argent says.

The animal is indeed a symbol of China, especially Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.

Argent came up with the idea of the climbing panda in June, when a company asked him if he was interested in working on a panda art project in Chengdu.

"I wasn't too sure about that in the beginning, because I do many different projects and they are not necessarily directed by a specific proposal like that. So that idea narrowed it down for me. And then I didn't want to create an object, or a thing that was Disney-esque, because that's easy for me," the artist says.

However, when he reflected on the subject, he changed his mind.

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