Known for his whimsical sculptures which feature monumental-sized animals, Argent’s final projects continue his artistic vision, successfully transforming the spaces they are in.
Beyond Reflection uses a dragon to reflect the culture of its Chinese setting and the mythological creature’s characteristics of power and happiness. Through the use of a sunken plaza, the 16 metre stainless steel structure cleverly spans two levels, with the body and legs of the dragon below ground, and the head, back and tail above. This unique approach, along with the use of mist and lighting, makes it appear the dragon is floating.
“The dragon emerges formless, much like an apparition,” Argent said of the artwork. “Then, just as this moment in time, the fluidity of form emerges into something recognisable.”
Its placement within Shenzhen’s first international metropolis ‘Uni Walk’ has ensured this new development is now a landmark for visitors to the city.
UAP also had the opportunity to collaborate with Argent on his artwork A Moment in Time which features an elephant perfectly balanced on its trunk. On closer inspection, the elephant is made of 15000 individual pixels, fabricated in brushed stainless steel in UAP’s Shanghai workshop. The artwork’s reference to the digital perfectly complements its surrounds in Nanjing Yuhua E-Park in China’s Software Valley, Jiangsu.
“Revered as a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, patience and strength, elephants have long since held the intrigue of many,” Argent said. “Here, the elephant is manifesting itself into physicality from its surroundings.”
UAP was touched to work alongside Argent helping to develop, fabricate and install these two artworks, which cement Argent’s reputation as one of the most skilled public artists of his time.
UAP collaborates with artists, architects, designers, property developers and local authorities to deliver creative outcomes for the public realm.
Its groundbreaking approach to using materials, experimentation and research in innovative fabrication methods has been the key to its success. Its international team comprises craftsman, curators, designers, metal workers, project managers and artists, all dedicated to revolutionising the perception of public spaces around the world. Established by Daniel and Matthew Tobin in 1993 in Brisbane, Australia, UAP now spans three continents, with key studios and workshops in New York and Shanghai and worldwide satellite offices in Melbourne, Dubai, Singapore, Shenzhen and Detroit.
UAP’s portfolio includes prestigious projects such as Ai Weiwei’s largest city-wide public art exhibition in New York with Public Art Fund, a sculptural staircase developed with Frank Gehry for the UTS Business School in Sydney, the Jürgen Mayer’s installation in Times Square and the lobby at 10 Hudson Yard in New York, Jackalope, a large-scale sculpture by Australian artist Emily Floyd for the Jackalope Hotel in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and Nuage (Cloud) Canopy by the Bouroullec Brothers for Miami Design District.