06 December 2012

Hamilton Sculpture - Te Poumanawa O Te Whenua ‘Beat Connection'


Catherine and I recently attended the donating of a wonderful gift from MESH – Sculpture Hamilton to the city of Hamilton. The gift, funded by the MESH Trust through the generosity of many corporate and private donors, was created by multimedia visual artist Oh Seung Yul, a Korean born artist based in Auckland. He is an 'emerged' artist and has been a previous winner of the NZ Painting and Printmaking Award, here in Hamilton.



Citizens help with Blessing (Photo: David Edson)


Sculptor (Oh Seung Yul) Relaxing (Photo: David Edson)

What you are able to see, touch, or play on is a substantial stainless steel sculpture a representation of a heartbeat which has allusions to the sporting activities at Claudeland’s Events Centre, human emotions, animal activities (I wonder if the artist realised that the cause of facial eczema was discovered on the field next door) – and then there were the earlier heartbeats (both human and avian) associated with the hunting of birds by Maori in the traditional bush hunting area nearby, Te Papanui.  There is the suggestion of excitement and climactic activity in the varying heights of the 'lub, dubs'. So it goes on – as with every great artwork there will be more and more layers of meaning taken from its form. 

Korean Traditional Dancer
Sat Byul
(Photo: David Edson)

The blessing comprised a public laying on of hands and greeting one another as they followed local Kaumatua for the traditional blessing and karakia up and down both sides of the sculpture.  Great idea. This was followed by kapa haka from schoolchildren, the presentation to the city by Nancy Caiger on behalf of the MESH Sculture Hamilton and a heartfelt grateful response from the Mayor, Julie Hardaker. The finale was the superb and elegant traditional dance from Korean dancer Sat Byul, here in NZ on a residency programme.

When you looked at the participants and onlookers at this event you thought – multicultural – one common heartbeat – it made you proud to be a kiwi – and a Hamiltonian. 

And it looks great at night.




Sculpture and Event Centre (Photo: Catherine Smith)














Sculpture at Night