Grace & Charm, nude sculptures in the public space

This lovely book arrived in the mail a few days (ok, weeks) ago and I’d like to share it with you. It is written in German and although I could not read the text, there were many beautiful and well-taken photographs of sculptures that bridged the language barrier and gave me a sense of what the authors were trying to do in the book. For sure, you will enjoy leafing through the pages and immersing yourself in them.

The authors and photographers are Hanno Ehrler and Manuel Berdel who wrote and asked if they could feature my sculpture, First Generation, in their book, Grazie & Anmut, Jünglingsaktskulpturen im öffentlichen Raum (Grace & Charm, Nude Sculptures of Youth in the Public Space). They found the sculpture on the internet where it is well publicized and is commonly known as being part of the People of the River series of sculptures.

“It’s one of the most impressive works in respect to the subject of our book. It was a main reason for us to visit Singapore,” says Hanno. “The subject of the book is nude sculptures in public spaces and its function there. Your work is placed in a public space which changed in the last decades from a living space for all to a place of commerce and tourism, as we see it in big towns all over the world.

“This development changes the function of public space which previously could be used by everyone and now is more and more privatized and a space for selected (sic) people. This development is described in the text of our book, because it has impact on the function of art in those spaces. First Generation is placed in a now commercialized public space but remains to the former times which is for us one very important quality of the work.”

The authors also see First Generation as having its place within and continuing an artistic tradition, as a work that “demonstrates that the tradition of depicting nudes has been maintained with astonishing formal continuity from antiquity to the present day. Many artists choose classical postures … Other works, like that of Chong Fahcheong, capture the figures in natural movements.” (p.49, Grazie & Anmut, Jünglingsaktskulpturen im öffentlichen Raum (Grace & Charm, Nude Sculptures of Youth in the Public)

Thank you, Hanno and Manuel, for featuring First Generation in your book and placing the sculpture in the wider context of nude sculptures in public spaces.

— fahcheong