The 66-storey Living Shangri-La building at 188 University Avenue in downtown Toronto houses luxury condos and a hotel. At street level there sits a stainless steel sculpture entitled "Rising" by Shanghai-based artist Zhang Huan.

After doing a bit of research on this artwork, I discovered that it took the artist two years to complete in his Shanghai studio (2009-2011). Weighing 22 metric tons, "Rising" was shipped to Toronto in five containers and assembled onsite. Up close you can see that the birds are perched all over a giant tree root, covering it in a flurry of detail before they migrate inside to the lobby. The root is shaped like an animal, and from further up the street the sculpture appears as a silver Chinese dragon.

According to the artist Zhang Huan, "the monster-shape tree advocates the protection of ecology, and the harmonious relationship between humans and nature. "Rising" represents my wish for beautiful city life to be shared by mankind and nature".

April 2, 2017

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