Back to Top
  /  Blog  /  Binkley Invited to Changsha International Sculpture Festival

Binkley Invited to Changsha International Sculpture Festival

michael binkley, sculptor in stone, changsha, china

In December 2013, I was contacted by the first Changsha International Arts Sculpture Festival to be held in the City of Changsha, China. I was invited to participate by the Festival’s principle organizer, sculptor Yixin Lei, a prominent Chinese artist and native of Changsha.

I was flattered indeed, as most of these international symposium festivals require a submission, and a jury decides which artists will attend. They are very competitive and I have applied to over 30 of them around the world in the past, but have never been chosen. Although pleased about being invited to this one, I was also a bit skeptical.

It is only a week before this Festival begins, and I have my airline tickets and travel visa, so I am off on September 12, 2014.

The Changsha International Sculpture Festival runs from Sept. 15 – Oct. 30, 2014 and will be held at the Yanghu Wetand Park in Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, China. I have been invited along with several other sculptors from various countries from around the world. We are each to carve a monumental sculpture which will remain as part of the city’s pubic art collection in perpetuity. I will represent Canada, and will carve an 8 foot tall (2.5 m) granite sculpture of a male and female nude standing back to back. I have sent a model to Changsha that is 80% complete, so that their carving factory can rough out my project ahead of time. The model, in grey foam is pictured above.

The Festival will also include an exhibition of our sculptures (we will be bringing smaller works for this), along with interactive discussions with the public and with Chinese art students. It will be a cultural exchange as well as a carving symposium. The theme is City Culture, City Spirit, City Creation.

The working title for my sculpture is “Look to the Horizon.” My composition reflects the Yin Yang of Taoism – female/male, light/dark, night/day, soft/hard, etc. This was inspired by an important text of ancient Tao that was excavated from a tomb in the mountains surrounding Changsha in the early 1970s. When finished, my sculpture’s figures will have much more detailed features, including faces, and musculature of their bodies.

I hope to add posts while I am in Changsha to keep you up to date with my progress!

Comments: 10

  • Scott

    September 4, 2014
    reply

    Fabulous…enjoy your experience…

    • Michael

      September 10, 2014
      reply

      Scott, Thanks, it will be an adventure for sure….

  • jeff watson

    September 4, 2014
    reply

    Are they giving you a cash payment for participating? Travel & accomodation? I hope so. Nice to have the granite roughed out before you start, I must say!I am surprised that you have never been selected for a symposium before.There will be one every year for another 9 years in Saint-Georges de Beauce, Qc. One month long, 5,000$, travel and food…monumental. You should contact them. Google Beauce Art symposium 2014

    • Michael

      September 4, 2014
      reply

      Jeff, We will receive an adequate stipend, plus room, board, travel and expenses. I’ll look into the Quebec symposium. Thanks! Michael

  • Marcia Nordman

    September 9, 2014
    reply

    Hi Michael:
    Good luck in Changsha – I am too surprised that you have never been invited before. We just LOVE your work and you are so humble about how talented you are. You are up there with all the great scultptors!! My girlfriend and I love our ptarmigans which you may find weird, as we have given them names!! See you in December – wouldn’t miss it to buy our next sculpture??

    • September 10, 2014
      reply

      Marcia, Thanks so much for your kind words. This one I was invited to, others I’ve applied to, but have never been accepted. This one is indeed an honour.

      Michael

  • Audrey Lomnes

    September 9, 2014
    reply

    CONGRATULATIONS MICHAEL! Fantastic… We hope you love the experience…. Enjoy

    • September 10, 2014
      reply

      Thanks Audrey. We’ll have to get together upon our return – perhaps a six-some with the Kalmars?!
      Michael

  • sandi kalmar

    September 10, 2014
    reply

    As an avid collector of your work, I can only say how proud I am of you. For you to be representing Canada is such an honour. For all Canadians that know of you and your talents, many thanks! You will represent us with your talent, class, amazing curiosity and zest for life and beauty.

    Sandi Kalmar

  • September 10, 2014
    reply

    Sandi – As ever, such touching words – Thank you!

    Michael

Leave a reply