Australian Artist Makes a Mark in Chengdu
In a big, bustling city like Chengdu, it’s no easy task to stop people in their tracks. But Australian artist Lawrence Argent has well and truly succeeded.
On any given day, scores of pedestrians stand staring, many with mouths agape, at his giant panda sculpture that hangs off the International Financial Square (IFS) complex on Hongxing Road. “I knew it would have an impact of course,” Argent said. “How often is it that you see a 15-metre panda scaling a building?” But even so, Argent said he has been surprised with the extent of the popularity of the 13-ton sculpture. “I feel honoured and privileged that the work has been able to touch so many people,” Argent (pictured above with project curator SK Lam) said.
The work titled I Am Here has featured in international magazines and newspapers, and is quickly becoming a landmark recognised around the world. Born in the U.K., Argent grew up in Australia and trained in sculpture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is currently a professor in the school of art at the University of Denver. He has visited “wonderful” Chengdu about four times and was last in the city for the opening of the sculpture in January.