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Innovative Art Installation – A new look for Classical Composers

Posted by:  Kimmel Center on March 03, 2014

Innovative Art Installation – A new look for Classical Composers

Stop by Commonwealth Plaza and experience the latest art installation! Long-Bin Chen’s “The Composers” is the second of three public-art installations temporarily on loan from the West Collection through a partnership with SEI. Created in 2013, Chen’s over-life-sized suite of sculptures features the heads of some of the world’s greatest classical composers. Knifed, machine sawed, and carefully sanded from books gathered from his own and other “found” libraries, Chen dutifully crafts each of his busts to resemble likenesses straight out of history books.

Each bust plays an excerpt of the composers – courtesy of The Philadelphia Orchestra! 

Busts are likeness of the following composers:

  • Liszt
  • Schumann
  • Bach
  • Brahms
  • Beethoven
  • Chopin
  • Verdi
  • Tchaikovsky
  • Mozart
  • Wagner
  • Mendelssohn
  • Strauss

More on the art installation:

Created in 2013, Chen’s over-life-sized suite of sculptures features the heads of some of the world’s greatest classical composers. Knifed, machine sawed, and carefully sanded from books gathered from his own and other “found” libraries, Chen dutifully crafts each of his busts to resemble likenesses straight out of history books. The fact that he has learned to brilliantly transform his chosen material adds greatly to their uncanny effect. Rather than betraying their origins as mostly discarded paper products (the artist often salvages tomes from bookstores, publishing companies, and university libraries), his carved heads—with their noticeable grooves and striations—appear as if they’ve been chiseled from noble materials like hardwood, marble, or stone.

More information about Long Bin Chen:

A native of Taiwan, Chen received a BFA from Tung-Hai University and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York.  In 1996, he was the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in both 1997 and 1998.  His exhibits have been seen widely throughout the United States, Germany, Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong.  Recently, his group exhibitions include The Invisible Thread: Buddhist Spirit in Contemporary Art at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island, New York; The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama organized by the Dalai Lama Foundation, a traveling exhibition; and Kidspace at MASS MOCA.

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