Art at Site Arne Quinze Red Beacon

Arne Quinze

Red Beacon

Jing'an Sculpture Park
‘Red Beacon’ is located in the middle of the Jing’An sculpture park. Jing’An is one of Shanghai’s 17 districts and has about 300,000 inhabitants. With a registered population of 17 million, this is the largest city in China.
As a result of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai focussing on the theme ‘Better City, Better Life’, the Jing’An district organized an international sculpture project. This was not only the city’s first, but also China’s very first governmental, public art event. ‘How to improve life in an urban environment’ is a question that preoccupies many Chinese citizens. The last few years, there has been a noticeable evolution on the Asian continent. An evolution that regards art as one of the large pillars, in addition to clean air, fewer cars and more green areas, to assure a high- quality life.
The ‘Red Beacon’ project therefore also fitted perfectly in this context, i.e. to spread the message and to make the inhabitants of Shanghai acquainted with public art. This new beacon in the city became an important step in the process towards more cultural openness in the city. A beacon in the city, where people can freely meet up and communicate openly.
Most famous for his elaborate public sculptures, Quinze offers Red Beacon, a highly complex wooden sculpture that rises from several stilts or legs, before unfolding into a form that weaves through the treetops.
The work is both powerful and delicate, and aims to bring people together, according to Quinze.
"We now live very quickly. Everybody is always walking somewhere, or typing away on the Internet," he told the Global Times.
The complexity of Quinze's structure reflects this dynamism and energy.
"With this installation, every wooden beam is a person and every overlapping connection is a crossover between people," he explained.
"I always adapt my installation to the local surroundings, be they trees or a bridge or a square, but the work tries to go further. This concept has traveled all over the world and always has the same reaction. With this piece you go inside it, under it, you are absorbed by it," Quinze said.
Arne Quinze (born 15 December 1971) is a Belgian conceptual artist best known for his unconventional and controversial public art installations. Quinze also creates large and small sculptures, drawings, and paintings. In his late teens, he started out as a graffiti artist in Brussels, and he never completed a formal art education.
Like a futuristic substitute for the market squares of old, Quinze sees his installations as places where people meet and converse as they used to in bygone eras. Red Beacon (2010) is placed in the Jing’an Sculpture Park, the pioneer of presenting public art in the heart of Shanghai located downtown in the Jing'an District. His sculptures redefine social space and provide alternative models of interaction."