Section: Archived News Stories

Forty-Six-Foot Tall Needle Sculpture Rises Over Arts Quad

September 14th, 2014 ›



Students walking around campus this weekend may have noticed a new addition to the University's Arts Quad: A 46-foot tall blue, needle-shaped sculpture.

The structure - tilted "A Needle Woman: Galaxy was a Memory, Earth is a Souvenir" - is part of Cornell's Council for the Arts' biennial celebration, according to the University. It was designed by Kimsooja, a Korean artist-in-residence for the biennial, and is one of many sculptures that will be placed on campus as a part of the celebration.

A 46 foot tall structure rose above the Arts Quad Friday as part of a biennial celebration for Cornell's Council for the Arts. (Courtesy of Nicholas Chan)The biennial celebration - called Intimate Cosmologies: The Aesthetics of Scale in an Age of Nanotechnology - will officially begin with a talk presented by Kimjoosa on Thursday and will last until Dec. 21, according to the CCA.

The biennial seeks to demonstrate how artists "address the realms of human experience" that lie beyond the senses, Stephanie Owens, director of the CCA, said in a University press release.

Other collaborators to constructing the sculpture include architect Jaeho Chong; Prof. Ulrich Wiesner, materials science and engineering; Hiroaki Sai grad and Ferdinand Kohle grad, according to the CCA.

Rina Kang '17, an intern for the CCA, said the structure, made of coffered steel and a polymer needle, was the collaborative effort of Kimsooja and a team of Cornell researchers.

"The project was done in collaboration with an architect and nano researchers at Cornell who developed the iridescent film for the needle," Kang said.

The iridescence of the sculpture emits "red, pink, yellow, green and ultramarine" colors in the presence of light, according to the CCA.

Some students - including Richard Wu '18 - said they were surprised to see the needle-shaped structure suddenly appear in the Arts Quad.

"It was bizarre," Wu said. "I just walked out of class and saw this huge pointy tower that hadn't been there an hour ago."

Wu added that he thought the structure resembled a "postmodern telephone booth."

"[I thought] It was even weirder since it had a door into the inside, too," he said.

An appointment is necessary to view the inside of the sculpture, according to the CCA. The structure's interior floor is mirrored - so it "appears to extend simultaneously into the earth and sky" - the CCA said on their website.

Sergio Lopez '16 said he was pleased to learn the University is adding a sculpture to the Arts Quad.

"It is good they are finally putting some art in the Arts Quad," he said.