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HSBC unveils light sculpture at Heathrow T5

08.03.08

The HSBC Yan Shu Commission is a twin columned light sculpture to welcome all passengers at Heathrow Airport's new Terminal Five (T5). The sculpture created by UnitedVisualArtists, is inspired by the Victoria and Albert Museum’s ‘China Design Now’ exhibition, of which HSBC is the sole sponsor.

The two coloured neon columns stand at eight meters high and are positioned at opposite ends of the check in hall. Each column features 12 large handmade glass Chinese characters that are lit up in varying combinations to convey multiple sentiments. Words like create, connect, dream, frontier, ambition and future are just some of the eclectic words visible within the light sculptures.

The title of the HSBC Commission, Yan Shu, literally translates to mean ’swan letter’. According to Hongxing Zhang, the co-curator of China Design Now in ancient Chinese literature yan shu describes correspondence delivered by carrier pigeons destined for two lovers. He said: ‘Less literally, the title can today refer to a cultural exchange between China and the UK.'

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