People and the Land Art Installation, Taichung

People and the Land Art Installation on Chung Shan Land building

photography by: Omri Westmark

Akin to any large metropolis in East Asia, Taichung is home to a hefty number of modern office buildings, one of which is apparently adorned in an unusual way. On first glance, the Chung Shan Land building might seem like a nondescript edifice with little to no interest. A closer look, though, will reveal otherwise, as its southwestern façade is dotted with a series of gravity-defying figurines who pay a tribute to the city’s resourceful spirit.

Nestled along Sanmin Road in downtown Taichung is an unassuming office building, where the city and county’s land registry operates. Constructed in the mid 2010’s, the Land Administration Bureau of Taichung City Government Building (as it’s officially known) is far from being an eye-catching monument to awe at, but as it turns out, one segment of its dull exterior serves as a canvas for a whimsical 3D art installation that leaves onlookers baffled and amused.

 

Created in 2016 by local artist Wen-Hai Lin, “People and the Land Beautiful Time and Glory” comprises a cluster of 97 bronze statuettes as well as three large bas-reliefs of human figures. From afar, the 80-centimeter-tall figurines appear like a string of metal rods jutting out of the building, however, these are in fact sculpted dwarf humans walking across the wall as if gravity doesn’t exist.

 

According to the sculptor, the upward-walking crowd represents the wise people of Taichung whose strive for excellence and diligence managed to elevate Taiwan’s third largest urban center from an industrial dystopia into one of Asia’s most livable cities. Their 3 larger counterparts on the other hand, stand for sincerity, virtue and beauty. Regardless of its purported muse, this hidden work of art is impossible to ignore, that is, of course, if you manage to notice its existence in the first place.