Lamp Installation Symbol of Christchurch-Gansu Relationship

Published: Fri 2 Oct 2015 05:23 PM
Street Lamp Installation an Enduring Symbol of 30-year Christchurch-Gansu Relationship
A striking street lamp from Gansu, China was installed on Wednesday 30 September 2015 along Park Terrace as part of Mischa Kuball’s progressive art project Solidarity Grid.
The elaborate lamp has been donated by Gansu Province as a gesture of solidarity during Christchurch’s recovery and rebuild process and to recognise the 30-year Christchurch-Gansu Sister City relationship.
“Solidarity Grid is a global infrastructure cultural exchange project for the people of Christchurch” says SCAPE Public Art Director, Deborah McCormick. “Witnessing its progression along Park Terrace and the pride with which the donor cities have championed the project has been extraordinary. Gansu’s lamp will be a standout to complement the existing lamps, and we look forward to celebrating the project in its current stage with [artist] Mischa [Kuball], and the completion of the project with all 21 lamps in place at the end of this year.”
A dedication ceremony for Solidarity Grid will take place during the Opening Weekend of the SCAPE 8 Public Art Christchurch Biennial on Saturday 3 October at 4pm on the Armagh Street Bridge, at the Park Terrace end of Armagh Street. It is a free event open to the community and Germany-based artist Mischa Kuball will also be in attendance to discuss and celebrate his work.
Gansu Foreign Affairs Office spokesperson Stephen Zhu said “The Gansu street light is of traditional Chinese style, [it is] energy-efficient, and should be unique in the South Island. It signifies Gansu’s support to the post-earthquake reconstruction of the Christchurch city centre and our will to join global cultural exchange programmes. The light is also a gift to commemorate 30 years of Sister City relations between Gansu and Christchurch.”
Mayor Lianne Dalziel expressed her gratitude to Gansu Province’s street lamp contribution.“This is a wonderful gesture of support for Christchurch from Gansu for our regeneration as a city. Joining Solidarity Grid helps light our city and enliven our arts scene at the same time. We thank them.”
Mischa Kuball’s Solidarity Grid is a legacy art project commissioned by the Christchurch City Council’s Public Art Advisory Group and produced by SCAPE Public Art over a period of three years, which began during the SCAPE 7 Public Art Christchurch Biennial in 2013.
Solidarity Grid is based on the act of giving and the positive symbolism of light. The project will bring a single streetlamp from each of 21 cities around the world to Christchurch, by the end of 2015.
Each lamp has a very different look reflective of its donor city which makes an exciting, explorative trail along Park Terrace for cyclists and pedestrians. The lamps are donated by cities as a gesture of solidarity during our recovery and rebuild process.
To date, fifteen Solidarity Grid street lamps have been installed - from our sister cities of Adelaide, Australia; Kurashiki, Japan; Wuhan, China; Songpa, Korea; Christchurch, Dorset, United Kingdom; as well as Düsseldorf, Germany; Sydney, Australia; Belgrade, Serbia; Sendai, Japan; Montreal, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; Graz, Austria; La Rochelle, France; Ieper, Belgium; and Singapore, with Gansu’s light to become the sixteenth streetlamp in place.
Gansu province is located in the northwest of China. It has a rich cultural history, having been a post on the Silk Road, with the Gobi Desert to its north and the Great Wall snaking along the border. The Yellow River flows through the south of Gansu province and street lamps of the same elaborate design are prominent fixtures along its banks in the capital and largest city, Lanzhou.
The Sister City relationship between Christchurch and Gansu can be credited to Cantabrian Rewi Alley who dedicated 60 years of his life to helping the Chinese people improve their standard of living after World War One. He became one of the most revered foreigners in China, and in 1984 established a formal relationship between his birth and adopted cities.
The SCAPE 8 Public Art Christchurch Biennial entitled New Intimacies is a Public Art Walkway to help people create new memories and re-connect with the changed Christchurch landscape. Curated by Rob Garrett, it will take place between 3 October and 15 November 2015.

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