‘endlessness’ by hu quanchun

 

fluid curves and friendly greetings define this public artwork created by hu quanchun to celebrate the 80th anniversary of beijing foreign studies university (BFSU). named ‘endlessness’, the large-scale sculpture embodies the three keywords of BFSU: communication, exchange and connection. the artwork is sited on the central square in university’s west campus in beijing. 

endlessness by hu quanchun 1
images by jin weiqi

 

 

site analysis

 

to create the artwork, hu quanchun and the team first carried out careful site analysis. the plot is a rectangular green square enclosed by the gate of the west campus and three main teaching buildings, and the installation is set on the west end of the square.

 

during site investigations, they found that the campus gate and the opposite teaching building are not on the same axis but have a deviation of several meters, hence forming two east-west axes. this confuses people who enter the site, as they tend to feel that the domestic building is misaligned. such confusion informed the artwork. as a vertical structure would strengthen the misalignment of the space on the site, quanchun adopted a horizontal form to blur the existing dual axes.

endlessness by hu quanchun 2

 

 

formal generation and expression

 

after determining the form of the artwork based on the analysis and optimization of site conditions, the next step was to figure out the specific form and spatial volume. in accordance with the intention of the work—to embody BFSU’s spirit of communication, exchange and connection—and with consideration into the site, the team eventually decided to take oval shape as the spatial prototype.

 

the middle part of the oval is stretched upwards, forming an arched structure full of tension. the circular shape implies communication, connection and endless cycle, and the arches have a certain connection with the form of a bridge, further embodying BFSU’s role as a communication bridge for foreign affairs and cultural exchanges.

endlessness by hu quanchun 3

 

 

 

the circular arched structure defines the installation’s exterior image and internal spatial volume. it’s not only for visual appreciation but it also provides a participatory and experiential space. the installation becomes a part of the wider environment and meanwhile shapes its own spatial realm.

 

to further enhance the work, the inner surface is engraved with ‘hello’ in 101 different languages, reflecting the university’s 101 language teaching programs and expressing its warm greetings to the world.

endlessness by hu quanchun 4

 

 

material and technology

 

the installation is welded from 5mm-thick weathering steel. this material was selected to echo the dark-red tone of the terracotta brick exteriors of the main buildings, so as to build a connection between the installation and its surroundings. 

 

LED lighting is installed behind the letters to reveal soft light at night. from a technical perspective, the characters on the inner surface posed the greatest difficulty. from digital 3D modeling to manual production, it required collaborative efforts of the creators and producers to perfectly realize the design scheme. despite the difficulty in execution, these illuminated words help build a connection with the special teaching programs of BFSU while also giving the abstract design warmth and a sense of affinity.

endlessness by hu quanchun 6

endlessness by hu quanchun 7

endlessness by hu quanchun 8

 

 

1/5
‘hello’ in 101 languages lights up this corten steel sculpture in beijing
 
‘hello’ in 101 languages lights up this corten steel sculpture in beijing
 
‘hello’ in 101 languages lights up this corten steel sculpture in beijing
 
‘hello’ in 101 languages lights up this corten steel sculpture in beijing
 
‘hello’ in 101 languages lights up this corten steel sculpture in beijing
 

project info:

 

name: endlessness

location: west campus, beijing foreign studies university (BFSU), beijing, china

commissioned by: beijing foreign studies university (BFSU)
artist: hu quanchun

institution: sculpture department, central academy of fine arts

execution firm: field conforming studio

execution team: yuan hang, xiang yu, chen songlin

art director: zhang wei (professor, sculpture department, central academy of fine arts)

technical consultant: mao qinghu

production: beijing jingzhi culture & art co., ltd.

dimensions: 12m x 4.5m x 4.8m

materials: weathered steel, LED

design period: march 2021

completion: september 2021

photography: jin weiqi

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom