Art. Architecture. Design. Fashion. Lifestyle.

PDA – Public Display of Art

Combined with the spirit of Winter Olympics, Vancouver is also celebrating worlds of art.  Over 30 bold and innovative contemporary sculptures from around the world can be found in parks, beaches, street corners, and sky train stations.  Showcasing art in public spaces inspires people to experience art, themselves and their world in new and creative ways, promotes cultural exchange, and increases appreciation of the important role art plays in society. 

This free citywide outdoor art exhibition is organized by Vancouver Biennale and will be displayed till mid 2011.  Biennale is Italian for “every other year”.  Vancouver is one of many cities that turn into a world stage to showcase contemporary art every two years.    Click here for map of the Biennale installation locations.

Sculpture : Miss Mao Trying to Poise Herself at the Top of Lenin’s Head
Artist : Gao Brothers (China)
Location : Alderbridge Way and Elmbridge Way, Richmond

A super-sized stainless steel sculpture features two iconic figures: a diminutive Miss Mao and monumental Vladimir Lenin, both of whom profoundly influenced world history.


Sculpture : Olas de Viento (Wind Waves)
Artist : Yvonne Domenge (Mexico)
Location : Garry Point Park, Steveston

– Intense red circular form of rhythmic and undulating curves and movement is reflective of the oceans waves within a contained form.


Sculpture : Cabeza Vainilla Cabeza Cordoba Cebeza Chiapas
Artist : Javier Marin (Mexico)
Location : No. 3 Road, Richmond

– In these gigantic heads one can sense strength, decay, dignity and history. The red color of the Mexican clay suggests remnants of some ancient monument to unknown heroes and the struggles of people to become an independent nation.


Sculpture : We, 2008
Artist : Jaume Plensa (Spain)
Location : Sunset Beach Park, Vancouver

– The sculpture celebrates Vancouver’s linguistic and cultural diversity by incorporating multiple alphabets, (Latin, Greek, Russian Cyrillic, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Arabic, Chinese) in an all embracing womb-like human form.



Sculpture : Meeting
Artist : Wang Shugang (China)
Location : Cardero Park, Vancouver

– First exhibited during the G-8 summit meeting in Germany in 2007 where world leaders held a “meeting”, the placing of the figures in static sitting positions with cupped hands is not without irony nor historical and cultural significance.


Sculpture : A-maze-ing Laughter
Artist : Yue Minjun (China)
Location : Morton Park, Vancouver

– Recognized universally as a sign of happiness, the smile raises questions of intent and interpretation. One of the most influential contemporary artists in China, Yue Minjun represents the new wave of Chinese artistic freedom.


Sculpture : Barbora
Artist : Vladas Vildžiūnas (USA)
Location : Thornton Park, Vancouver

– The original concept for this figurative sculpture was a lady walking in a park in solitude with breezes adding movement to her garments. In 1972, the model this sculpture was based on, acquired the name Barbora, a Lithuanian Queen, who became synonymous with an independent, free and autonomous nation.


Sculpture : Water #7
Artist : Jun Ren (China)
Location : Vanier Park, Vancouver

Sculpture : Water #10
Artist : Jun Ren (China)
Location : Cambie Road and the Fraser River, Richmond

– Artist’s inspiration came from pure forms; liquid water or mercury stopped in motion that revealed its shape as a drop or spill caught in the air. Though weighing seven tons, with no angles, or hard edges, the form flows visually and appears light and fluid.


Sculpture: Skin of Time
Artist : Choi Tae Hoon (Korea)
Location : Harbour Green Park, Vancouver

 The tree represents many things in Korean culture. Aspects of the artist’s life are reflected in the night light via messages and important mementoes embedded into the metal bark of the tree.


Sculpture: Engagement
Artist : Dennis Oppenheim (USA)
Location : Sunset Beach Park, Vancouver

– The diamond ring, reflective of romantic unions and celebrating commitment and tradition, is re-conceptualized here in this monumental sculpture.


Sculpture: Artificial Rock #143 
Artist: Zhan Wang (China)
Location: Vancouver city Center Station, Canada-Line,Vancouver

– This reflective steel rock literally and metaphorically represents the past and the future; tradition and transition of a nation and people into Modernity. Zhan Wang’s Rock #143 represents the new China: the growth and expansion of ideas, aesthetics, economics and internationalism.


Sculpture: The Stop 
Artist: Michael Zheng (USA/China)
Location: Vanier Park and Charleson Park,Vancouver

– This work explores the possibility of subverting the power of signs through placement, dislocation and design.



Sculpture: Echoes
Artist: Michael Goulet (Canada)
Location: Kitsilano Beach Park, Vancouver

 – Public installations of artistic and whimsical chairs with thought provoking, often bi lingual aphorisms have become a signature trademark of this Quebec based artist.



Sculpture: 217.5 Arc x 13′
Artist: Bernar Venet (France)
Location: Sunset Beach Park, Vancouver

– Venet illustrates the beauty, balance and plasticity of raw steel in his artistically mathematical manipulations of this industrial material. Nature, the universe, and life are all interconnected and explainable mathematically according to Venet .


Sculpture: Pillows
Artist: Liu Jianhua (China)
Location: Harbour Green Park, Vancouver

– Through multiples of weighted fibreglass pillows, a mundane everyday domestic object, (not historically Chinese), juxtaposed in an outdoor space, the artist creates a contradiction and a curiosity inviting the viewer to contemplate functionality and engagement.

Sculpture: History of Loss
Artist: Sudarshan Shetty (India)
Location: King Edward Station, Vancouver

–  Although inspired by VW Beetle childhood toy cars, the reference here is multitudinous; iconic combustion engine vehicles entombed and dated as artifacts, reflecting the consciousness and worldliness of young Contemporary Indian artists.


Sculpture: Arriving Home
Artist: Dennis Oppenheim (USA)
Location: YVR – International Arrivals Terminal, Richmond

  – Departure and arrival, as well as the freedom and the exhilaration of travel and mobility are crystallized in the rhythmic movement in this circular sculpture created by one of the most influential, innovative and respected artists working today.


Sculpture:  Joe Sola is Making Art
Artist: Joe Sola (USA)
Location: Yaletown Station, Canada-Line, Vancouver

– This work is both tongue-in-cheek, part wry humour and part serious social commentary. The work places the artist in a box which chronicles his time making art drawing attention to the celebrity status, and forced self-promotion inherent in the contemporary art scene.


Sculpture:  Minotaur and Hare
Artist: Sophie Ryder (England)
Location: Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, Vancouver

– According to ancient folklore the Minotaur and the Hare are incompatible opposites. In Greek mythology the Minotaur, often portrayed as part man and part bull, is a figure of courage and terror, while the Hare symbolizes fertility, agility, and bravery. Here they co-exist in harmony and admiration, or do they?


Sculpture:  Walking Figures
Artist: Magdalena Abakanowicz (Poland)
Location: English Bay Beach Park, Vancouver

– The sombre tone and sheer weight of the figures references time, loss and mindless response of the crowd.


Sculpture:  The King and Queen
Artist: Sorel Etrog (Canada)
Location: Harbour Green, Vancouver

 – In this work the artist makes manifest the complex relationship between man and machinery and the conflict between individual agency in craft and industrialized mass manufacturing in the modern world.


Sculpture:  Jasper
Artist: John Clement (USA)
Location: Robson Street & Jervis, Vancouver

Clement’s trademark steel spirals, turns and loops challenge the inherent properties of the rigid tubular steel.

(Via Vancouver Biennale; Photo Credits: Dan Fairchild)


Filed under: Art

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