Two months ago, we wrote about the installation of Qin Feng’s giant, marble-and-glass temple lions at the Crow Collection’s new Sculpture Garden (above). As remarkable and imposing as the new double work is, the engineering to put it in place (which most people will never see) is impressive on its own: four, 70-foot tall steel beams hold the grid up on which the sculptures stand, rooting them to the bedrock beneath the Trammell Crow tower’s underground parking garage. In effect, they — and all the sculptures in the garden — are standing above six floors of open air.
But this Saturday, the Sculpture Garden finally opens – welcoming fifteen new works, including Liu Yonggang’s Buddha, the 18-foot-tall steel sculpture (below) which, as we also noted, joins two other monumental outdoor, bright-red sculptures in the Arts District. Buddha immediately becomes something of a signature piece for the Crow — a sign post on Flora Street, indicating to anyone walking or driving by that there’s an art museum inside.
It’s also a signal that the Sculpture Garden, which winds around the Trammell tower, is dedicated to striking and massive and very contemporary Chinese art. But it’s not all about sculpture pieces around the Trammell Crow Center, though. They’ve managed to insert into this tight, elevated pavilion space Japanese and Chinese-style landscape gardening (as a small island country, Japan is known for its incredibly economic and highly developed use of space).
Inside the museum itself, they’re showing Ai WeiWei’s touring exhibition of Circle of Heads, his bright-golden realization of the Chinese zodiac. There’s an incredible new work inside, as well: Ma Jun’s china.porsche (below), a life-size, painted-fiberglass version of a Porsche, covered with traditional Qing-dynasty flower patterns, birds, dragons, clouds and scenery with the occasional contemporary item.
It’s as if the Porsche had been (and continues to be) an imperial luxury item. Dallas, it’s safe to say, would understand the impulse.