The Phoenix Project by Yu Bing at MASS MoCA is incredible to see. What’s crazier is that this is not its first stop, it was originally installed at the Today’s Art Museum in Beiing. The sculptures are two enormous birds created from construction debris harvested from Beijing’s construction sites.
They are suspended from the ceiling so we could walk under and around the birds and really study the different pieces of “garbage” that were used to build the birds. Even looking at the pictures I took now I realize I missed the obvious shovel heads that make up a scaly part of one of the animals.
They measure 100 feet long each and together weigh over 20 tons. While the junk would seem to be clunky and ugly, as a whole each phoenix was quite graceful. The talons and feathers flowed and curled, and had fanciful details made with such precision.
This was another installation that wowed my kids and made the trip to North Adams worth it. The overall pictures were taken by my youngest son and I like to think he was inspired to capture these images so he could take it all in for later viewing.