I was out with the zillions of people late last night at Toronto’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. I had mapped out my outing having a few anchors as “must sees” and let me eyes guide me to other locations in between. After another successful night of absorbing the incredible art my mind is still reeling over a few installations.
I loved how renegade artists WLLNTTZ placed small works of art around the sites of Nuit Blanche offering them as free art for anyone who discovered them. I had stumbled upon one on Temperance Street and went to take a snap of it for Instagram when someone came up and said “You know you can take that.” I felt odd taking what was clearly a work of art but when I inquired with this stranger if she was the artist – she confessed. She and a fellow artist were planting 52 of these pieces throughout the night. This was a gift from the heart. Amazing!
TAKE A PENNY, by Marian Wihak and Martha Griffith, was another brilliant art installation located in the Scotiabank Tower. Glass jars filled with newly “minted” penny candy (get it?) was offered to visitors and you could roll your own. It was a fun one that was not out in the open and you had to explore a bit to find it.
GARDEN TOWER was another incredible installation by artist Tadashi Kawamata (Hokkaido, Japan) that was located just east of St. Michael’s Hospital on the grounds of the Metropolitan United Church, gave you the feeling of taking nothing for granted. An incredibly balance of worn out chairs was truly spectacular to see. Art lovers waited in line for half-an-hour just to walk through the sculpture.
No doubt that the “must see” for everyone was Ai Weiwei’s FOREVER BICYCLES constructed with 3144 bicycle frames. What has been going through my mind was the number of bikes. The actual numbers. I haven’t seen any media outlets speak about this (or maybe I’m not digging enough). The artist himself hasn’t mentioned anything about the significance of the number either..is this done with purpose? There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the significance of the brand of bicycle used itself. Yong Jiu , translates as “Forever”, is the foremost brand in China. In the official program for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, you would understand that the artist has re-interpreted this everyday object to create a complex and abstract sculpture representing the rapidly changing social environment in China and around the globe.
If you’re Chinese, you know our culture loves playing with words and the interpretation of numbers. I’m doubting this is a random number. When you break it down the number “3” means birth or even “31” could be translated to birthday. The number “4” as we all know is death. Hmmm.
So, what do you think?
BTW…if you’re just catching up on your sleep and you can still go and check out Ai Weiwei’s FOREVER BICYCLES at Nathan Phillips Square until October 27th.
Did you head out to Nuit Blanche in your city? What art installations stood out for you?
It’s one of my most favourite times of the year. When art lovers young and old come together with their open minds and thank goodness the weather held up for most of the night!