Oliver Voight 

(SACRAMENTO, Oct. 12) — The Sculpture collection heralded as one of the highlights of the cultural activities leading to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games has come to Sacramento.

A crowd of people filled the Convention Center Tuesday night to preview the Beijing Olympic Landscape Sculpture International Exhibition of Award Winners displayed throughout the lobby and main floor of the building.  Lion dancers opened the ceremonies before Mayor Heather Fargo addressed the assembled guests.  An extensive list of dignitaries were introduced, including Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee delegates, Host Committee members, Olympic athletes and artists.  Finally, Professor Xikun Yuan, Director of the Organizing Committee of the 2008 Olympic Landscape Sculpture Designs Contest, spoke of Olympic ideals and global harmony through art.

The competition, documented as “the largest solicitation for sculptures in Olympic history,” attracted more than 2400 design proposals from artists representing 90 countries.  Since early 2006, the careful evaluation by an international panel of 17 experts from the U.K., Russia, Italy, Germany, Austria, U.S. and South Korea winnowed the 2433 entries to 386, then to 290 deemed “Excellent Works” and, from this group, the current 110 were chosen for the International Tour exhibitions.  These award-winning designs were reproduced in triplicate to allow for simultaneous exhibitions.

At the conclusion of the tour, in a nationally televised ceremony in China, 29 sculptures, symbolic of the 29th Olympiad, will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.  These sculptures will be installed, many in monumental size, throughout the Beijing Olympic environment. 

Just three Americans remain in contention and were awarded places on the International Exhibition Tour.  As listed in the official publication, “OLYMPICS AND SCULPTURE, Catalogue of Works For The 2008 Olympic Landscape Sculpture International Tour Exhibition,” the winners are Edward Eyth of California, the partnership of Asherah Cinnamon and Scott Fuller of Maine, and Carole Turner of Oregon.

Scott Fuller and Carole Turner were in Sacramento for the opening reception and Edward Eyth and Asherah Cinnamon were expected to arrive later in the week for a ceremony at the State Capitol.  Californian Shray Friedman, one of the 10 U.S. artists in the “Excellent Works” category, displayed the scupture that inspired her contest entry.

At a reception for the Host Committee and honored guests, Professor Yuan was presented with a  small sculpture of a young Chinese gymnast, a “study” for Ms. Turner’s Olympic sculpture, “Rhythmic Dancer.”

Internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor, Director of the Jintai Museum in Beijing, and recipient of the United States Academy’s Sports Artist of the Year 2008, a book has been published about the art and life of Xikun Yuan.  Professor Yuan personalized copies of the book and presented them to members of the Host Committee as the reception came to a close.

While the Sacramento exhibition includes approximately half of the 110 sculptures that comprise the International Tour Collection, it is an impressive display of international talent, sculptural styles, and interpretation of Olympism.  The Collection has been shown at the International Olympic Committee Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, and cities such as London, Seoul, Rome, Los Angeles and Barcelona.  The next U.S. exhibition will take place in Chicago (Oct. 23 – Nov. 3).  And a special United Nations exhibition is planned for December 2007 or January 2008.  Don’t miss the opportunity to view this Collection before it heads back to China.

The Beijing Olympic Sculpture exibition is open to the public October 10 – 22, Sacramento Convention Center, 14 & J Streets, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily.  Admission is free.

Asia Pacific Journal

Oliver Voight 

(SACRAMENTO, Sept. 11) – Sacramento will play host to the Award Winners of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Landscape Sculpture Competition when the International Tour opens at the Convention Center October 9, 2008.

Inspired by the sculptures of ancient Athens, the Beijing Olympic Landscape Sculpture Exhibition brings images of the Olympic Movement to the world, visiting cities from the five continents. Each sculpture also reflects the essence and the universal values of the Olympic spirit – unity, friendship, progress, harmony, participation and dreams.

After a nation-wide tour beginning on Olympic Day – 23 June – this year in Beijing, the exhibition started its international kick-off in London, host city of the next edition of summer Olympic Games in 2012, then traveling to cities that have already hosted the Games, such as Athens, Seoul, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Barcelona, Rome and Sydney, passing through other cities like New York, Los Angeles, Wellington, and the Olympic Capital, Lausanne, with a stay in the Olympic Museum.

On display in Sacramento will be approximately half of the 110 sculptures that comprise the International Tour of Finalists in contention for 29 gold, silver and bronze medals to be awarded in Beijing for the 29th Olympiad. In China the winning artists will oversee enlargement of their works to monumental size for display throughout Olympic venues.

Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo will head the host committee that will welcome Beijing Olympic Games delegates and dignitaries, local officials, Olympic athletes and sponsors to the opening ceremonies and activities related to this prestigious event.

Other honored guests will include the three American finalists featured in the International Tour of Award Winners, Edward Eyth, Carole Turner, and the team of Asherah Cinnamon/ Scott Fuller.

This International Tour is the culmination of a vast program organized by the Beijing games Organizing Committee. The first stage of the project was to collect designs for “landscape sculptures” from around the globe. With the participation of 90 countries, 290 designs from the five continents were selected by a panel of 17 international judges from a total of 2,433. The short-listed works were identified, then reproduced in triplicate in the appropriate materials (bronze, stainless steel, aluminum, etc.), to allow for several exhibitions simultaneously in China and abroad.

Among the 290 short-listed designs were 10 Americans: Edward Eyth, Carole Turner, Asherah Cinnamon/Scott Fuller, along with Mark & Diane Weisbeck, Robert LaRocca, Shray, Wanxin Zhang, Kirovsolomon Kiril Vanessa, Orlay Gutierrez, and Shi-Jia Chen.
The Sacramento Convention Center Opening Ceremonies will take place October 9 at 5 p.m.

It is planned that a number of the sculptures from the Convention Center will be moved to the Art Foundry Gallery after October 11 for events there, including a private sponsor reception to take place October 12. Shray will have a sculpture on display at this location and at related Art Foundry events.

All events in Sacramento are scheduled to conclude October 22, 2007.

The Sacramento Convention Center is located at 1400 “J” Street. Hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. This is a free event.

The Art Foundry Gallery is located at 1021 “R” Street, Sacramento. Hours vary.

Asia Pacific Journal