Ling Zhi Helicopters
h 6,8 m, 6,3 m en 5,5 m
Rijswijkse Landingslaan, Den Haag
52.031935281907, 4.3583911657333 View on map
When the wind is blowing, this work of art is at its best. Then it seems as if they have just come flying in - the three giant mushrooms with helicopter blades on their hats. Exactly as the artist sketched in 2014. Unfortunately, Huang Yong Ping passed away unexpectedly in 2019 at the age of 65. The work was almost finished then. His wife and daughter attended the opening.
For his art commission for the new housing estate on the site of the former Ypenburg airport, the Chinese-French artist Huang Yong Ping has enlarged three Ling Zhi mushrooms and combined them with helicopters. They land in the extension of the canal that recalls the former airstrip. Huang Yong Ping connects this local history with a socially urgent issue like immigration.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the Ling Zhi is known as the elixir of life, and according to Taoist belief, this mushroom species is a mythical symbol of eternal life. The artist wanted to introduce these meanings to the Netherlands. At the same time, Ling Zhi are foreigners who come from the East. Because this type of mushroom has no roots, they are transportable. Just like immigrants.
Huang Yong Ping was an immigrant himself. At the end of the 1980s, after participating in the famous exhibition of non-Western art 'Les Magicien de la Terre' (Paris, 1989), he came to Europe. Since then he has lived and worked in Paris. He is one of the best-known artists of the Chinese Xiamen Dada movement and knows how to combine Eastern and Western art traditions. His inventive and evocative sculptures and installations are shown all over the world. His 'Serpent Ocean', a 130-metre-long skeleton of a snake in the sea near St Nazaire (France), is impressive.
Being able to put down roots somewhere new and reflecting on your 'roots' are recurring themes in the oeuvre of Huang Yong Ping. The artist himself saw the world as one international community.