The treehugger by Dutch conceptual artist Edwin Zwakman has found a permanent home in the Putuo District of Shanghai. The sculpture is placed on a striking spot in Changfeng Park, founded in 1956 and one of the biggest and oldest parks in Shanghai. It is a landscape park which accommodates more than 160 kinds of plants, a man-made lake and it hosts yearly the China Flower Expo.
The opening ceremony of Treehugger took place on September 4, followed by a press conference. The ribbon cutting was hosted by Governor of Shanghai Putuo District People’s Government Mr. Sun Rongqian and Consul General of the Netherlands in Shanghai, Mr. Eric Verwaal.
The Dutch conceptual artist and photographer Edwin Zwakman fulfilled an artist-in-residency with IFP in Beijing last year and it was then that he developed a great interest in Chinese daily life at street level and the extensive park culture of big Chinese cities. It inspired him to design the Treehugger. The artwork uses the iconic form of a pedestrian bridge, taken out of its context, to circle a live tree, providing a unique experience for the public to appreciate the tree at different levels. Many Chinese cities lead their pedestrians through heavy traffic via stairs and bridges. To see the design in a different context than the usual urban landscape, can at first sight be confusing. But the unexpected poetic experience and the different point of view it offers the spectator - in this case in between the leaves of a tree - is what Zwakman’s work is famous for.
Partners of the projects are IFP, Arthub Asia, OCT, Fonds BKVB, DCC and Consulate General of the Netherlands.