The final touches are being put to a new park in southern Nanjing in which a key feature shall be sculptures from many of Nanjing’s sister cities, among them, Nanjing’s “youngest” sister; the English city of York.
The International Friendship Park (IFP) is described as an “urban ecological park”, with a 5.6-hectare lake as its core, surrounded by forests, wetlands, lakes and other natural landscaping.
The park’s major attraction will, however, be much more man made in nature. More than a dozen sculptors from Nanjing’s 20 sister cities around the world have been invited to submit designs for sculptures that symbolise their city’s relationship with Nanjing.
Vincent Lyles is the man behind the exhibit from York, one which has inspiration in the idea of an ancient Roman soldier chancing upon his Chinese counterpart, whereupon the two decide to play chess. On the board between the warriors shall be chess pieces that are miniature sculptures of Nanjing and York’s famous buildings, Zhonghua Gate for the former; York Minster for the latter, as but two examples.
Lyles worked as a physiotherapist in York for many years before taking up sculpture.“So I understand how bodies fit together!”, he commented, talking with York-based news outlet, The Press.
All the sculptors have until 15 July to submit their entries, part of which comprising small scale models of the intended completed pieces. A commissioning panel in Nanjing will then make their decisions and give the go ahead for selected works that will be slightly larger than life size.
The IFP lies 100 metres southeast of the intersection of Wuhou Jie and Jiangdong Nan Lu in Jianye District, easily accessible using the Nanjing Metro, via exit 4 of the Wuhou Jie station on line S3. The park is open all day, every day and entrance is free.