Leading Beijing artist Wang Shugang was announced on Sunday, March 18th as the recipient of the Sculpture by the Sea People’s Choice Prize of $2,500 for his sculpture meeting 1. The sculpture of eight red men crouching in a circle drew the attention and fascination of the crowds throughout this years Cottesloe exhibition.
The Chinese artist, a graduate from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, has exhibited widely in China, America and Europe. His prize winning sculpture meeting 1 was recently enjoyed by the people of Sydney at Sculpture by the Sea's sister exhibition in Bondi in November 2011. The work seeks to convert the serious nature of meetings, as an influence on the way of thinking, the psyche and the consciousness of people into an exhilarating memorial.
The NAB Kid’s Choice Prize of $1,000 was awarded to Finnish collaborators ELIN&KEINO for their sculpture punctured sky. The site specific work, an arched tunnel with peeping holes to the sky, was put together on Cottesloe Beach by the artists at the beginning of the exhibition, taking days to install in front of the eyes of visitors. The Finnish duo stayed by their sculpture for the run of the exhibition, sitting on iridescent blue deck chairs watching the crowds enjoy the artwork.
Images Left to Right: Wang Shugang, meeting 1, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2012 | ELIN&KEINO, punctured sky, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2012. Photos Karen Castle.
The ELIN&KEINO cooperation (made up of Finnish artists Heini Nieminen and Sandra Nyberg) started in 2009 and the duo has since participated in various outdoor and environmental art events both in Finland and abroad. In 2011 ELIN&KEINO participated in Denmark’s Sculpture by the Sea, Turku City Arts Festival ‘Livingroom’ and received the grant for the ComPeung Artist in Residence in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The group focuses on the field of environmental and community art; creating artworks related to the politics of human interaction, interference, and reclamation of the natural environment.
Images Left to Right: Inside ELIN&KEINO, punctured sky, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2012. Photo Karen Castle. | Inside ELIN&KEINO, punctured sky, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2012. Photo Giles Roberts.
Thousands of locals and tourists who voted for the prizes during their visit to Cottesloe Beach to see the collection of over 70 original sculptures from West Australian, interstate and international artists.
David Handley, Founding Director of Sculpture by the Sea said, "it is wonderful to give people the chance to vote for their favourite sculptures, and is something the artists take a lot of pride in, when they're voted most popular. This year has been the closest in terms of votes for 3-4 sculptures I can remember, so congratulations to Wang Shugang, Heini Nieminen and Sandra Nyberg!"