‘Lady’ returns home to stand proud in city’s iconic tower
By Yang Jian
BEIJING’S Guanfu Museum yesterday said it has donated its “Shanghai Lady” — the only sculpture by Chinese artist Chen Yifei — to Shanghai Tower.
The 3-meter-tall piece, which Chen created in 2000 in his studio on Taikang Road in Huangpu District, will be located on the ground floor of the world’s second-highest building, which is set to open next year.
Built of metal, the sculpture was based on one of Chen’s oil paintings featuring a woman dressed in a 1930s-style qipao dress, and holding a bird cage in one hand and a fan in the other.
Chen, who died in 2005, gifted the piece to the privately owned Guanfu Museum.
“The graceful posture of the sculpture is quite like the twisting design of Shanghai Tower,” said Ma Weidu, the museum’s curator.
“It belongs to Shanghai,” he said, adding that it was Chen’s last wish that the lady returned home.
“The sculpture will go on display about the middle of 2015, when Shanghai Tower opens to the public,” said Jiang Yao, chairman of the building’s owners.
As well as donating the sculpture to the tower, Guanfu — China’s first private museum — said it will open a Shanghai branch inside the new skyscraper.
“Most of the exhibits will have a connection to the city,” Ma said.
But “Shanghai Lady” and Guanfu will not be the only artistic presence in the tower, Jiang said.
On its upper floors, more than 700 square meters of space will be given over to works of art from around the world, all of which will be open to the public, he said.
Built at a cost of 15 billion yuan (US$2.5 billion), the 632m Shanghai Tower in the Lujiazui financial hub of the Pudong New Area is the world’s second-tallest building after the 829.8m Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Its nine sections comprise office accommodation, shops, restaurants and a luxury hotel.