Gosia in China 1 176DSC_0461Humble Administrator’s Garden (Chinese: 拙政园; pinyin: Zhuōzhèng yuán), Suzhou, China (Photo: Gosia Głowacka, April 2013)

During my first trip to China I put on my “to do” list the Humble Administrator’s Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage object – one of the most famous gardens in Suzhou. After admiring the beautiful thumbnail trees, the stunning appearance, the smell of flowers and the singing birds which allow one to forget about all the hardships of the day, as the culmination point of these unique aesthetic experiences, somewhere in the distance a singing voice and gentle sounds of a stringed instrument could be heard. Guided by the voice I reached a small lake located in the western part of the garden, and … time has stopped … There was only this Chinese girl singing traditional Chinese songs and accompanying herself on the Chinese lute (called Pipa)


The pipa (Chinese: 琵琶; pinyin: pípa, [pʰǐpʰǎ]) is a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument, belonging to the plucked category of instruments. Sometimes called the Chinese lute, the instrument has a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26. Another Chinese four-string plucked lute is the liuqin, which looks like a smaller version of the pipa.

The pipa is one of the most popular Chinese instruments and has been played for almost two thousand years in China. (source: Wikipedia)


“Balancing Act (oryg. Balanceakt)”

DSC_0466[1].JPG                                Schulptor: Stephan Balkenhol, Berlin, Germany (Photo: Alicja Molenda, 28.03.2016)

On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Axel Springer Verlag, the Bild Zeitung asked the sculptor Stephan Balkenhol to make a sculpture in memory of Axel Springer and his longstanding hope for German reunification. It is placed directly in front of the Axel Springer Haus, only a few meters from where the wall used to stand.
The Sculpture consists of many components: a 3,5 meter tall painted bronze figure of a man balancing on top of a representation of the Berlin wall, and, scattered behind this, eleven large pieces of the original wall. According to the sculptor, “the man is no longer a prisoner or a critic of the wall; he is standing on it that means he is above it. He has to deal with this new situation and has to keep on walking. As a memory how many people failed on the Berlin wall, a loud gesture of triumph would not have been appropriate. My balancing man stands for a cautious way of optimism, openness to the future, but also for the feeling that freedom brings along responsibility to make something out of it.”

Balanceakt (Balancing Act) 2009
Bronze figure 3,50 m high, concrete dam 2,20 m high

(source: Berlinische Galerie, Museum of Modern Art)

“Widow of St. Abbs”

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Sculptor: Jill Watson, St. Abbs, Scotland, Great Britain (Photo: Rafał Grzymała, 29.12.2015)

On Friday 14th October 1881, a violent European Windstorm struck the South East coast of Scotland. During the next few hours, 19 fishing boats and 189 East coast fishermen were lost that day. The memorial at the top of the cliffs, as you enter the Fishing Village of St Abbs, in the Scottish Borders was sculpted recently by Jill Watson. It has been commissioned by the people of Berwickshire to commemorate the surviving widows and children of the 3 fishermen from St Abbs who lost their lives that day.

“Man Hanging Out”

Prague 050Sculpture by David Černý, Prague, Czech Republic (Photo: Gosia Głowacka 22.08.2014)

Sigmund Freud was born in Frieburg which is now part of the Czech Republic.  Even during the most prolific times of his career, Frued suffered from a number of phobias including the fear of his own death.  Suffering from mouth cancer when he was 83, Freud had his close friend and doctor help him to commit suicide through administering morphine.

Artist David Cerny depicts Freud in this way to signify his constant struggle with fear of death.  Other interpretations suggest that the artist was personally challenging the status quo.

The sculpture became so popular that it was exhibited in other cities including London, Berlin, Rotterdam, Chicago, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Often mistaken as a suicide attempt, the sculpture has initiated calls to fire and police.


“Chopin Statue”

Warszawa z Jose 006.JPGDesigner:Wacław Szymanowski, Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland (Photo: Gosia Głowacka, 26.04.2012)

The Chopin Statue is a large bronze statue of Frédéric Chopin that now stands in the upper part of Warsaw’s Royal Baths Park aka Łazienki Park, adjacent to Aleje Ujazdowskie (Ujazdów Avenue).

It was designed in 1907 by Wacław Szymanowski for its planned erection on the centenary of Chopin’s birth in 1810 but its execution was delayed by controversy about the design, then by the outbreak of World War I. The statue was finally cast and erected in 1926.
Statue destroyed by the Germans (1940)

During World War II, the statue was blown up on May 31, 1940. It was the first monument that was destroyed by the occupying Germans in Warsaw. According to local legend, the next day a handwritten sign was found at the site which read: “I don’t know who destroyed me, but I know why: so that I won’t play the funeral march for your leader.”

Professor Oskar Sosnowski designed the pedestal and basin, which are made of red Wąchock sandstone.

The original mould for the statue, which had survived the war, made it possible to cast a replica, which was placed at the original site in 1958. At the statue’s base, since 1959, on summer Sunday afternoons are performed free piano recitals of Chopin’s compositions.

The stylized willow over Chopin’s seated figure echoes a pianist’s hand and fingers.

A 1:1-scale replica of Szymanowski’s statue stands in Hamamatsu, Japan. There are also preliminary plans to erect another replica along Chicago’s lakefront, in addition to a different sculpture commemorating the artist in Chopin Park, for the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth (2010).

Szymanowski’s statue was the world’s tallest Chopin monument until the unveiling, on March 3, 2007, of the slightly taller, modernistic bronze in Shanghai, China.

(source: Wikipedia)