The Golden Turd and others: 10 unconventional statues
There's more to Asian art than Gods and political figures. Today, it's all about the unexpected. Just take a look at some of Hong Kong's best and worst public art. "Artists in Asia are breaking into a whole new realm, thinking of a bigger world audience while still incorporating Asian culture," says award-winning sculptor Alan Chin."The result is extremely powerful."
From a golden dropping to a Buddha made of bugs, here are 10 statues and sculptures that will make you do a double-take.
Plopped atop Tokyo's Asahi Beer building is the famous kin no unchi, Japanese for “Golden Turd.” (Locals also call it the unchi biru, aka "poop building.") The 300-ton stainless steel sculpture designed by French architect Philippe Stark was meant to look like foam rising from a beer mug. Ah, well.
Jumping The BridgeSingapore
This offbeat sculpture, "The First Generation" by Chong Fah Cheong, has triggered plenty of gasps in unsuspecting visitors. Perched next to the historic Cavenagh Bridge, it looks as though a group of misguided children are leaping into the Singapore River.
Skeletons In LoveNong Khai, Northeast Thailand
“‘Til death do us part” was never a vow that these lovebirds made. Sitting among the other oddities in the lush Salakeawkoo Sculpture Park, two concrete skeletons grin while they hold hands. It’s kind of sweet, in a creepy sort of way.
Bugged BuddhaGunma, Japan
No, those aren't colorful jewels you're seeing. This lavish Buddha statue is actually made of 20,000 dead insects. Artist Inamura Yoneiji spent six years catching the creepy crawlers and constructing the shiver-inducing sculpture at the Itakura Community Centre. He hoped that if they were part of the effigy, their souls would rest in peace.
Romance seekers might just want to assemble here. Peeking around the corner of a jewelry store in the Ginza shopping and entertainment district is a bare-bottomed bronze cupid, armed with an arrow of love.
Bite DownSeoul, South Korea
Now that's great service. Bronze men hold up this wooden bench with their teeth. "Eating a Biscuit Together" is a comical bronze sculpture by Ku BomJu that sits in front of the Bukchon Art Museum.
More Than Meets The EyeYunnan, China
Transformers fans will be wowed by the 40-foot statue of Optimus Prime in remote Southern China. The awe-inspiring leader of the Autobot forces carries a gun and looks ready to battle all evil forces.
It's Alive!Tokyo, Japan
Perhaps the only thing that can take down Optimus Prime is this guy. In 2009, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the popular manga series Mobile Suit Gundam, a 59-foot statue of the robotic warrior was erected in Shiokaze Park. His eyes light up, his head nods and rotates, and his suit shoots out steam.
Finger Lickin' GoodOsaka, Japan
In 1985, when Osaka's baseball team won the national championship, crazed fans seized a statue of Colonel Sanders, whom they thought resembled a star player, and tossed it in a river. Nearly a quarter century later, the KFC mascot was discovered. The statue had lost his legs, hands and glasses but he still had his signature smile. KFC is considering donating him to the Tigers home stadium in Osaka.
The ChaseTokyo, Japan
Tokyo's modern Shiodome area is filled with quirky treasures including these colorful polka-dotted creatures crawling in a circle around a tree. Take a seat.