Taking a Shine to It

The Great Wall of China is made of glass. It glows like mother-of-pearl, and you can see right through it, to figures of people moving on the other side. It was all made by hand, by one woman, and as you already know, it's a very powerful metaphor. At “Open Wall,” Chinese-American artist Shan Shan Sheng transforms her home country's famous landmark into a huge, transparent version of itself, using bricks she made in the ancient tradition of Italian Murano glassworkers. It evokes, she says, the new willingness of China to be in contact with the rest of the world: “It connects different cultures, races, and values.” The wall itself is currently visiting the World Expo Shanghai, but a portion of its 2,200 bricks are here, along with several of Shan's large-scale paintings and other glass sculptures from her historic trip to Murano. We love that this Chinese- and Italian-American collaboration sits at the junction of North Beach and Chinatown.
Oct. 27-Dec. 31, 2010

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