Field Conforming Studio was enlisted to create an eye-catching interactive sculpture placed inside of a newly designed district. The sculpture is entirely cast out of molten Corten steel. The sculpture brings into a clean contemporary architecture environment a “muddy road’. This surprising contrast between the work itself and surrounding architecture. Placed in a plaza-like space, the sculpture is here to invite visitors to interact and bring in a sentiment of the rural landscape and a form of mud-land under their feet. The Imprint sculpture was initially created for the first OCT Fab Public Art Festival held at Fab Town, Xiangyang (China). The concept was envisioned by Field Conforming Studio’s chief designer Hu Quanchun.
“When invited to create a work for the Public Art Festival, the chief designer Hu Quanchun imagined a lot about Fab Town, as its name seemed to indicate that it was a place with abundant wondrous things. When he arrived at the site, however, he realized that Fab Town was just a real estate concept proposed under the commercial planning of this area. The site where the Town locates was originally a vast piece of farmland, which was being replaced by a new modern built landscape. The so-called “Fab” is just a longing for the future development and wonderful lifestyle of this urbanized area,” shares with ARCHISCENE the Field Conforming Studio public relations team.
Chief Designer Hu Quanchun was inspired by actual mud at the building sight while working out the concept with his team. The tire tracks reminded Hu of the rural roads, seeing the same as an expression changing with the weather.
“Walking On the road with different expressions’, people would be in different moods and states. On rainy days, they had to cautiously take every step on the sludgy road, while on sunny days, the dry yet soft road brought them an enjoyable “journey”. These were the joys and sorrows of walking on country roads in the past days. With the development of economy and modernization, rural areas have been equipped with modern road facilities. Unpaved roads in the public’s memory cannot be found in urban areas and are even rare in the countryside nowadays. Undoubtedly, those unpaved roads, which were dusty in fine weather and muddy on wet days ,have nothing to do with romance. Besides, the troubles they brought to people’s people’s daily life are also contrary to modern values. The country roads, however, used to be the “way” to modern cities and carry our past memories,” adds the Field Conforming Studio public relations team.
Imprint by Hu and his studio finds a way to preserve the ruts and the footprints on a muddy country side road. The team initially wanted to find a stretch of muddy road in the countryside to directly duplicate the mud prints into the sculpture. However this initial plan did not work out, one the mud could not stay unaltered and actually roads are in use. Furthermore the designers could not find an expressive part of the road to replicate the sculpture from.
To create the sculpture the designers had to actually produce the patch of mud road on their own in an indoor space, close to the sculpture processing facility. Firstly the team lays clay in the indoor, then they simulated tire tracks and footprints, and finally the begin to cast it with molten Corten steel.
The work was then placed within the square area located at the Fab Town, in Xianyang, China. The work as intended creates a surprising contrast within the design of Fab Town, thus making the piece memorable and inviting to the visitors of the location.
“Public art design and public space complement each other, and different spatial conditions lead to different design strategies. Through the creation of” Imprint” was almost synchronized with the construction of its new surrounding setting, the design concept of the work is still rooted in the specific historical memory of the site,” notes finally Field Conforming Studio
The project was completed in June 2021, discover more of the Imprint in our gallery:
Work name: Imprint
Design firm: Field Conforming Studio – www.fcstudio.art
Chief designer: Hu Quanchun
Design team: Xiang Yu, Chen Songlin
Exhibition curator: Sun Zhenhua
Art director: Fu Zhongwang
Exhibition planning: Donghu Shan Art Museum
Exhibition coordination: Liu Ying
Entrusting party: OCT Xiangyang
Location: Fab Town, OCT, Xianyang, Hubei
Size: 10m × 4.5m
Material: Corten steel
Start time: November 2020
Completion time: June 2021
Photography: Jin Weiqi