Sculpture Same Size, But Double Weight Of American Counterpart, Designed By Arturo di Modica
We’ve become accustomed to stories of companies localizing their products to suit the preferences of Chinese consumers, but this weekend a localized version of the famous Wall Street bull sculpture was unveiled on the Shanghai Bund. The “Shanghai Bull,” designed by the American artist Arturo di Modica and announced last summer, is the same size as its 21-year-old New York counterpart but nearly double the weight. According to the artist, the bull is designed to symbolize the vitality of Shanghai, which is trying to establish itself as a major global financial hub by 2020.
At the unveiling of the statue this weekend, Arturo di Modica told Shanghai Daily that Shanghai’s bull, designed and cast in the United States, is designed to be “redder, younger and stronger” than its “older brother” in New York. According to di Modica, some of the Shanghai bull’s design aspects were inspired by traditional Chinese culture and symbolism, as well as a few requests from Shanghai city officials. From the AFP:
“It’s a mixture of Western and Chinese cultures,” said Di Modica, adding he was inspired by both the “Charging Bull” and the Chinese Zodiac’s ox.
The animal’s confident stance represented a bullish and prosperous future for the rising financial center, Di Modica said.
The Shanghai officials who commissioned the sculpture had previously said they wanted their bull to weigh twice as much the one on Wall Street.
The city requested a bull that was younger and stronger than New York City’s bull to symbolise “the energy of Shanghai’s economy”, Zhou Wei, the head of Huangpu district told reporters at a previous briefing.
“That’s why the head of the Bund’s bull looks up while the Wall Street Bull looks downward,” he said.
Although some have questioned why Shanghai officials commissioned their own version of the Wall Street bull rather than a traditional Chinese symbol such as a dragon or phoenix, Fang Xinghai, director of the Shanghai financial service office, told Xinhua that the bull is perhaps more fitting in the context of Shanghai. “In Chinese culture, a bull symbolizes perseverance, diligence and wealth. A bull used to be the earliest object for barter and a prototype of the earliest currencies,” said Fang, “I hope the bull at the Bund will witness the growing and thriving financial market in Shanghai and in China.”