Lo­cal artist do­nates work to celebrate Ger­man city

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A Tai­wanese artist do­nated his latest work made from dis­carded steel ca­bles to Karl­sruhe as a gift to the Ger­man city that is cel­e­brat­ing its 300th an­niver­sary this year.

Speak­ing about his work “Tai­wan Wish­ful” at a news con­fer­ence Tues­day, sculp­tor Kang Mu-xiang said he was pleased to play a part in pro­mot­ing cul­tural diplo­macy.

The sculp­ture, which Kang said took about six months to com­plete, was made from dis­carded steel ca­bles from Taipei 101’s el­e­va­tors.

In ad­di­tion to of­fer­ing birth­day wishes to Karl­sruhe, Kang said he wanted to use the pro­ject to con­vey the con­cept of the power of unity, sym­bol­ized by the ca­bles closely bound to­gether in his art­work.

Asked about the dif­fi­cul­ties he faced in putting the work to­gether, the 55-year-old said “ev­ery step in the pro­ject was a chal­lenge.”

He said he first had to clean the ca­bles and suf­fered sev­eral mi­nor burns while weld­ing the steel ca­bles to mold them into the shape he de­sired.

“It was prob­a­bly the most dif­fi­cult pro­ject I’ve ever worked on,” said Kang, a sculp­tor whose pre­ferred ma­te­rial to work with dur­ing much of his ca­reer was driftwood be­fore ex­per­i­ment­ing more re­cently with steel ca­bles.

“Tai­wan Wish­ful,” 3 me­ters tall and weigh­ing 3 tons, is Kang’s sec­ond cre­ation made from the dis­carded el­e­va­tor ca­bles from Taipei 101, fol­low­ing the work “In­fi­nite Life,” which has been in- stalled out­side Taipei 101.

Kang started to work on “Tai­wan Wish­ful” af­ter Vice For­eign Min­is­ter Vanessa Shih con­tacted him and in­vited him to cre­ate some­thing that could serve as a gift from Tai­wan to mark Karl­sruhe’s an­niver­sary and pro­mote ties be­tween Tai­wan and Ger­many.

She learned of the city’s an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion when she was on a busi­ness trip to Ger­many last year and thought it would be a good op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote Tai­wan’s soft power by play­ing a part in the cel­e­bra­tions, Shih said at the news con­fer­ence at the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs in Taipei.

“Kang’s pro­ject will be placed at a plaza in the cen­ter of Karl­sruhe,” Shih said, adding that the plaza is lo­cated in a busy part of the city.

Also at the news con­fer­ence was Martin Eberts, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Ger­man In­sti­tute in Taipei, which rep­re­sents Ger­many’s in­ter­ests in Tai­wan in the ab­sence of bi­lat­eral diplo­matic ties.

Eberts ex­pressed his grat­i­tude for the do­na­tion and lauded the close ties be­tween Tai­wan and Ger­many.

Kang will travel to Karl­sruhe to at­tend the cer­e­mony on Aug. 21 at which his work will be un­veiled and par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties later in Ber­lin to pro­mote cul­tural ex­changes, the min­istry said.

Karl­sruhe, a city in south­ern Ger­many, is the seat of the coun­try’s two high­est courts: the Fed­eral Court of Jus­tice and the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tional Court.

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