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Liu Jianhua's Public Sculpture “Global Magnet” on Display in Shanghai

On June 16th, contemporary artist Liu Jianhua unveiled his public installation “Global Magnet” at the opening ceremony, held on-site at Shanghai’s World Financial Center. This project is organized by Mori Art Museum’s curator, Fumio Nanjo.


“Global Magnet” – an exact copy of a real magnet, complete with red and blue poles – stands 17 meters tall, and is made of steel. Such an object is not unusual in our daily lives, however, once magnified, it produces a powerful sense of contradiction, challenging our outlook on life and our ways of thinking. With its inherent ability to attract – or, to repel with force – the installation is hard to ignore. As the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone’s public sculpture, this “landmark” perfectly combines the concepts and purposes of both art and commerce. The result – the Shanghai World Financial Center is now dually unmatched in its architectural and sculptural magnificence. The magnet, in a shape of a horseshoe, signifies a type of cohesion. Shanghai is place filled with possibilities; the magnet’s innate kinetic energy is symbolic of the city’s potential. Though this parallelism is both emotional and logical, it leaves the audience with a sense of interaction, but also conflict.


This is not Liu’s first time collaborating with the Mori Group – last year, his “Daily Fragile” series went on display at the Shanghai World Financial Centre Park Hyatt Hotel. This project was also led by curator Fumio Nanjo. “Daily Fragile” is a sculptural installation composed of white porcelain remakes of everyday objects. The piece hangs precariously from the site’s ceiling, transforming these ordinary objects and its surrounding reality into a surreal as well as visually stunning scene.