Thurs. May 4, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Whimsical, larger than life sculptures have arrived in Downtown DC for all to enjoy as part of the Fancy Animal Carnival installation, by renowned Taiwanese contemporary artist Hung Yi. Through the partnership of CityCenterDC and the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), five massive, colorful animals will be displayed from May 4 to Oct. 15, 2017 at CityCenterDC (825 10th Street NW), Chinatown Park (6th & Massachusetts Ave NW), and Herald Square (13th & New York Ave NW). Visitors are encouraged to share their photos and experiences with the art using hashtag #fancyanimalcarnival.
Each of the animal sculptures represents a narrative expressed through traditional Taiwanese symbols and motifs believed to bring luck. The painted patterns reflect folk culture and religion, as well as the artist’s personal experiences and observations of people’s everyday lives. The colors and depictions painted on the surface of his sculptures are not realistic depictions of animal fur or limbs, but rather three-dimensional paintings full of surreal cultural representations, suffused with narrative. Much of this subject matter comes from Taiwanese society, but has also been influenced by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Joan Miro.
Known as one of the best Taiwanese contemporary artists in Asia, Hung Yi’s magnificent works are inspired by his every day interactions with society and nature. He individually forges steel plates, and adds to their surface a rich palette of painted symbols and forms from Taiwanese folk art and daily life. Finished works have undergone multiple processes, including welding, forging, polishing, and enameling. His artwork transfers the two-dimensional language of painting into three-dimensional sculpture, expressing a unique and unusual perspective that invokes joy and happiness in its viewers.
“We are thrilled to have Hung Yi’s sculptures here in Washington, DC – his imaginative forms and lively use of color enliven the already spirited streets of downtown DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “The Fancy Animal Carnival will benefit residents and visitors alike and will inspire all of us to support creative artists and entrepreneurs who continue to make Washington, DC a tremendous place to live and to visit.”
“These elaborate, intricately painted forms add an element of surprise and delight to our public spaces that the community will enjoy. Both whimsical and technical, the art is a must-see during the time it’s here in town” said Timothy R. Lowery, General Manager of CityCenterDC.
“We are delighted to have helped make it possible for Hung Yi’s Fancy Animal Carnival to be on display for all of DowntownDC’s residents, workers and visitors to enjoy,” said Neil O. Albert, president and executive director of the DowntownDC BID “This vibrant, public art installation enhances the community of DowntownDC in so many ways and we can’t wait to see how these animals create new dialogue and activity in our city this year.”
Hosted and sponsored by CityCenterDC and the DowntownDC BID, the exhibit was also made possible through support from the U. S. National Park Service, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the National Capital Planning Commission, the Government of the District of Columbia including the District Department of Transportation and the Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Oxford Properties and Gould Property Company.
The Fancy Animal Carnival is also mobile! As a way to expand the Fancy Animal Carnival, a miniature Triumphant Double Sheep created by Hung Yi, will be circulated throughout DowntownDC during the six-month installation. Programming and activation surrounding the exhibit will be available to the public throughout the installation. Details on the art and programming will be available at citycenterdc.com/FAC.
An additional sculpture by Hung Yi will be on display in front of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative’s (TECRO) building on Wisconsin Avenue as well as several other pieces exhibited in TECRO’s Twin Oaks Estate.