Manuscript, Beijing Design Week, China
Paul Cocksedge was invited to create a major installation which was a key highlight of the First Beijing International Design Triennial, which featured London as its guest city.
Sited on Chang’An Avenue, the main east-west axis of the city, this temporary piece has been designed to be explored visually and physically by visitors to the China Millennium Monument, a cultural and events complex built to celebrate the turn of the millennium. Passers-by can sit and rest on the curved sheets and absorb the pages of poetry in one of the world's most impressive public spaces.
Entitled Manuscript (Seats of Poetry)’, the sculptural design celebrates a wonderful Chinese invention, manuscript paper, the foundation of global literature and communication. It follows Cocksedge's ongoing interest in this inspirational material, and his investigations into its morphological potential.
At 20 metres long by 6.7 metres high, the sculpture's impressive scale also presents itself as a monument to the industrial capability of China. The individual sheets making up this complex structure are precisely fabricated and assembled by local manufacturers.
Upon closer inspection the piece is made up of rolled steel pages inscribed with poems carefully curated from Chinese and English sources. Manuscript is about the exchange of words, poetry and knowledge between Beijing and London.
Paul Cocksedge explains: ‘I am very honoured to have been able to contribute this work, Manuscript, to the 2011 Beijing Design Week. This structure speaks to so many different aspects of Chinese and British history and culture: poetry and writing, the power and beauty of nature, and, of course, man-made engineering and design. At heart, though, Manuscript is simply meant to inspire people to look, listen, and make new discoveries...’
Photography: Mark Cocksedge