Monday, March 12, 2012

My World: Circle of Animals

Back to Hermann Park and Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals.
You might remember from last week that Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads
is Ai Weiwei's re-creation on an oversized scale of the traditional zodiac sculptures
that once adorned the fabled fountain at Yuanming Yuan outside Beijing.

Designed by two European Jesuits in the 18th century the original animal heads surrounding the fountain-clock of Yuanming Yuan spouted water every two hours. In 1860, French and British troops raided Yuanming Yuan, and the heads were looted. To date only seven of the legendary 12 heads have been recovered; the location of the remaining five is still unknown.

Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals

The Circle of Animals overlooks McGovern Lake in Hermann Park.
Each head, without the pedestal, measures at least 4 feet in length.


The Horse

Circle of Animals Mosaic

The Goat, The Monkey, The Pig and The Dog


The Rooster

You might remember Ai Weiwei, Chinese artist, architect and social activist,
 from the 2008 Olympics in China.
He designed the famous Bird's Nest. 
Because he is a critic of censorship and human rights violations, he has been in prison, tortured and is currently on a heavily restricted travel visa.
That made siting this exhibition difficult.
Google maps helped save the day!

The exhibition will move on to Princeton University 
and then to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.

Thank you to the Our World hosts.

Wishing you WELL and a JOY filled week. 

(P.S. I'm having back problems. Not nice since I had back surgery in 2003. Sitting at the computer is difficult. I'll see you when I can.)


Irene said...

What an incredible site.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

The Birds Nest stadium was/is absolutely magnificent!

Janet said...

These heads are amazing. And so is the story about Ai Weiwei. I saw a documentary program about him and was immediately touched. It's so tragic that he's being kept prisoner and his art is not allowed to flourish.

Sorry to hear about your back problems. I hope you're feeling better soon.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thanks Snap for sharing these sculptures with us... I loved the ones from a previous post.. BUT--these are even better. Love the rooster... WOW!!!!!! AND--I like the PIG.... Thanks!!!!

We are home from our 2nd trip is a month--and both of us have colds.. Yuk! Guess it will be REST for this upcoming week for both of us.


Gary said...

They're stunning!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sylvia K said...

These are awesome, Snap! Thank you so much for sharing them with us and the information about Ai Weiwei! Amazing and inspiring and so tragic indeed that he's being held prisoner! Superb post!


aka Penelope said...

These are incredible sculptures and depictions of the zodiac. So wrong that an outspoken artist such as Ai Weiwei would be imprisoned. It’s a strange evolving world and when we look back on different societies we often see many mistakes were made and the wrong people were punished.

Leovi said...

Beautiful photos, great animal heads, I find beautiful works of art. Greetings.

Marie said...

Very interesting sculptures! I love the rooster. So sorry to hear about the Chinese artist. The world can be difficult, unforgiving place...we find beauty where we can.

Carver said...

That is an incredible park. I love the rooster head. They're all great but the rooster is my favorite in this post.

Indrani said...

Stunning work! Hopefully the other works will be traced soon.

Ebie said...

Hi Snap, I remember in the news about the artist in prison. These are very precious work of art.

I hope it comes in our area.

Karen Harvey Cox said...

Wow, that is so cool. I would love to see that in person. So sorry to hear about your back problems. I'll say a prayer and send healing your way.


eileeninmd said...

I love these sculptures, the rooster is my favorite. Thanks for sharing, have a wonderful day!

Geli said...

Hi, yes, these sculptures are to be considered very great, then even 4 meters high, a huge art that was being created, thanks for showing me the original I see them sometimes never determined ...

Brenda said...

These are so very beautiful. The picture of each on is just stunning. It really makes one wish for the other 5 to be found. Beautiful post, Snap. Thanks for sharing this.

Celia M. c. said...

Thank you for sharing the other half of this exquisite collection. Can only imagine the originals.

I hope you are feeling better. Back pain is one of the worst forms of pain. xo C. (HHL)

ñOCO Le bOLO said...

· Great pictures to show such an interesting place. I would like to see those heads sprinkling water.

· Saludos

TornCrystal & TheAbsentGaze

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

MOst interesting post. Thank you. Hope your back gets better soon.

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Thanks for the head tour, these really are amazing. xox Corrine

Al said...

Those are awesome sculptures, I like your photos a lot.

NatureFootstep said...

never seen such a powerful cock before. :)

Stewart M said...

Splendid pictures - the story behind them is great as well.

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

Cezar and Léia said...

Very interesting museum there and your pictures are beautiful.The horse close up is impressive!

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
Beautiful photos, great animal heads, I find beautiful works in his art. Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my new post.
XXOO Diane

Lew said...

Thanks for stopping by my part of the world. Fascinating story of the animal sculptures! Your siamese in your Header looks very much like one of our former cats.

Rajesh said...

Very cool collection. All of them look great.

Walk in New York said...

ces sculptures de tetes d'animaux sont magnifiques, j'ai eut le plaisir de les decouvrir à New York.

Publicity ;o) Every Friday (and the Weekend), The Challenge "Walk In The Street Photography"

Sherry said...

Stunning work!

EG CameraGirl said...

Thanks for saying how big the heads actually are. Now I can imagine how impressive they must be to see in person.

W. Latane Barton said...

Thanks for sharing those amazing heads with us. Just almost surreal and such talent to sculpt them.