Thu, Feb 28, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Artist’s piece to be shown in Mexico

By Liu Li-jen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Artist Lin Shih-pao, left, and other people hold baseballs at the unveiling of the Tree of Hope, which is also made of baseballs, at Crystal Window and Door Systems’ headquarters in Flushing, New York City, on Feb. 4.

Photo courtesy of Lin Shih-pao

Taiwanese artist Lin Shih-pao’s (林世寶) newest installation, Tree of Hope, is to be exhibited in Mexico, and he aims to send it to Tokyo in time for next year’s Summer Olympics to convey his message of peace, love and hope.

Lin on Saturday said the piece was made with 25,000 baseballs donated by people from more than 30 nations, with another 900 donated by US baseball teams.

Aided by workers from New York City-based Crystal Window & Door Systems, Lin fused the balls into a 6m-tall tree draped with red lights.

He said that he remembered waking up at midnight as a youngster in Chiayi to watch baseball games on television.

“That moment when everyone in the stadium tracked the ball after it was hit, wishing that it would go to the outfield, or even further; that moment when thousands of people shout with fervor, that is baseball — a sport creating the memory of a generation,” Lin said.

It was this memory that prompted him to put out word that he was collecting used baseballs, he said.

“I wanted to create a piece that would portray the unique significance of baseball to modernity,” Lin said.

Lin studied at Nagoya University of the Arts and New York University. He divides his time between New York City and Japan.

He is not well known in Taiwan, although he has won more than 20 international art awards and was named an outstanding artist by the UN.

His creations include a 1994 artwork called Guarding Peace made from 500,000 coins; a 1997 piece that used 1 million pennies; a 2004 piece created of 1,000 used pairs of jeans to tell the tale of migrants working in New York City; and a 2005 work made of 300,000 old pens for the Aichi World Fair — the only creation representing Taiwan that year.

In 2015, Lin used 26,000 trashed cellphones to create a car as a way of telling people not to overly fixate on technology and ignore interacting with the people around them.

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