Crown of Thorns (Hong Kong)
The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Kennedy Town had a safety problem. A ventilation duct close to the entrance of the school that is part of the church compound, was used by kids to climb onto a perimeter wall putting them at risk of getting hurt.
The dean was telling this rather uninteresting story at a friends’ dinner party. I immediately saw an opportunity to contribute as a designer and an artist, and I offered my contribution to solve the problem.
Considering the surrounding environment, I hardly could resist the temptation to infuse a religious undertone to what might otherwise been handled with a purely practical solution.
Barbed wire would certainly dissuade trespassers and at the same time would evoke a powerful imaginery that is central to Catholic religion, that of the Passion of Christ.
I had recently been impressed by a Matthias Grunewald’s rendition of the Crucifixion, and I imagined how it could be translated in contemporary terms: totally abstract and of course far less gruesome, but still inspiring awe.
A few months later, when I returned to Hong Kong, I checked how the artwork was aging and found it appropriately enriched by unvoluntary additions of spiny twigs and dead leaves.