The southwest corner of the intersection of Melville, West Pender, and Jervis streets in downtown Vancouver is boasting a new public art piece.
Vancouver Biennale has installed “Need,” a bronze sculpture by Iranian-Canadian artist Kambiz Sharif. It is said to be inspired by his experience as a new immigrant, with the idea for the sculpture imagined just over a decade ago during his first year in the country.
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The large reflective sphere is affixed at the top with three claw-like fingers or a seedling pushing upwards to symbolize the “need and gratitude and the potential of reciprocity” of immigrants.
“Despite its apparent abstraction, this shape carries deep personal meaning,” reads the artist’s description of his work.
“Its core contains the untold desires held by all new immigrants and the continuous re-imagining of one’s home in this new place. Need marks a junction where the converging streets lead the flow of traffic to vastly different neighbourhoods of the city. At these crossroads, the sculpture’s reflective surface makes it come into view like a mirage, or a flash of recognition of shared experience in a stranger’s eyes.”
Vancouver Biennale is responsible for some of the city’s most significant and unique works of public art. Most of its art work remains in place on a temporary basis, often for years, and the remaining permanent pieces are typically secured through public interest and private donations.