Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing created this awesome large-scale sculptural installation, Phoenix, using all sorts of reclaimed industrial materials, including steel beams, hard hats, chains, pipes, tanks, tools, and other remnants from the migrant laborers who worked on urban construction sites in China. So, much like their namesake, Xu Bing’s two enormous birds are rising from the figurative ashes of industry.
It took two years for the artist to collect and assemble the materials to complete this magnificent project. Each bird weighs 12 tons (26,455 lbs) and they measure 90 and 100 feet long, respectively.
They are, “sculptural representations of cultural evolution and the lives of those who have given their energy and strength to spark a cultural and architectural change in China. The project states: “At once fierce and strangely beautiful, the mythic Phoenixes bear witness to the complex interconnection between labor, history, commercial development, and the rapid accumulation of wealth in today’s China.”
Phoenix is currently on display, for the first time ever outside of China, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) through October 27, 2013.
Photos by Hideo Sakata/MASS MoCA