Sunday, 26 October 2014

Giant Walking Man & Large Red Sphere in Munich

Pinakothek der Moderne Muenchen (Munich Gallery of Modern Art), Germany
Pinakothek der Moderne Muenchen (Munich Gallery of Modern Art).
One of the destination that of would like to visit inside.

Next to the Gallery of the Modern Art is Türkentor (Turk's Gate). This gatehouse is named after Türkenstraße (Turk Street), which in turns named after the history of Turk's prisoners in Munich during the time of Ottomen Empire.

Today, this gatehouse - now known as Turkentor Gallery - houses only one thing: the Large Red Sphere. For those who don't get modern art, like our Segway tour guide, who was enthusiastically showing us this abstract absurdity, objectionable object of art. One giant marble ball inside a gallery and nothing else. What gives? I sympathise the sentiment.

Large Red Sphere by Walter de Maria, Munich, Germany
Walter de Maria's Large Red Sphere - a 25 ton, 2.6 m in diametre, highly polished red granite.
The Californian artist said that he had been working on this idea for 40 years.

For 40 years, he finally came up with a naught, a zero. Maybe they should put some police tapes around the columns and with signs that say, "Nothing to see here".

Speaking of artist, i.e. a frustrated one, the young soldier Adolf Hitler was once had a bunk in this former barracks, and stayed there after served in WW1. Except for this gatehouse, most of the barracks (and much of Munich) were bombed out during WW2. Most of the old buildings in Munich are therefore recreations.

Walking Man Sculpture, Munich, Germany
Walking Man, 17m tall, is walking away from the Munich RE building

While the giant white man is walking, one can easily mistaken him for bowling from a certain angle. Where's the bowling ball? Well, didn't you see it? It's in the Turkentor Gallery. The Large Red Sphere is 2.6m in diametre while this giant is 17m. A typical diametre of a bowling ball is 22cm, and a "typical" man is 1.7m. So in terms of ratio, the Large Red Sphere is just slightly larger than a bowling ball with the scale ratio of 1:10. What we need now is drilling 3 finger holes into the Large Red Sphere to complete the Bowling Man sculpture.

While the giant sculpture grabs all the attention, don't forget to take a look at this beautiful landscape garden behind the lobby. The guide believes that it's designed according to fengshui principle. I'm no expert in this area, but I can see the similarity.

Landscaped garden in the lobby of Munich RE building, Munich, Germany
Landscaped garden in the lobby of Munich RE building

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