Coming in at 125,000 or so residents, Yuanlin Township is the most populous township in Taiwan. It’s also apparently a place where time is available in abundance, evidenced by the town’s barrage of complaints about a fruit-themed public art exhibit.
Erected in March, the sculpture was fashioned by an un-named artist at a claimed cost of $173,000 USD.
What does $173,000 get you in the public art marketplace?
What you’re looking at there is an assortment of fruits, mashed up together from “stainless steel and steel plates” to symbolise the agricultural produce of region.
Yuanlin Township doesn’t grow pineapples.
So who’s responsible for the stuff up?
Well, this is where things get juice (no pun intended).
The sculpture was presented to the town as a gift and placed at the entrance to a recently rezoned area of land spanning ‘more than 184 hectares’.
Who paid for it?
The statue was a gift from the companies participating in the rezoning.
“Participating” of course being code for “set to profit” and “gift”? Bribe to smooth things over with the locals is probably more like it.
I have no idea what was on the land before “the companies” won their rezoning however if recent trends in Taiwan are anything to go by, they probably
kicked out relocated a bunch of unhappy locals in the process.
And what better way to be reminded of that every day with a 7m tall pineapple sculpture to stare at.
That brings us to the residents of Yuanlin complaining about the statue.
Since its installation in March, residents in the township have complained that the “pineapple” was too thin and long, looking more like a carrot, and that it was too slanted and looked like it might topple over.
There has also been criticism of how the two Chinese chestnuts attached to the pineapple made it look like the pineapple had eyes.
The guava part of the statue also came under criticism, with residents debating whether it looked more like a guava or a sweet jujube.
Township representative Chen Chiu-jung (陳秋蓉) said that aside from the starfruit and the honey orange appearing relatively normal, the other fruits in the statue were “ugly.”
Changhua County Councilor Chen Su-yueh (陳素月) also criticized the statue, calling it “crude and ill-made” and a disgrace to all Yuanlin residents, adding a call for the county government to remove the statue and remake it.
“Yo, this slanty pineapple has eyes and what the fuck is up with all the ugly fruit shit hanging of it? GET PRESIDENT MA DOWN HERE TO MAKE A TELEVISED APOLOGY, THIS IS UNACCEPTABLY OUTRAGEOUS!”
Seriously? I’m no fan of public art monstrosities and while a big pineapple probably isn’t my cup of tea is the sculpture really that bad?
Taken out of the context of “the companies” successfully having the land the sculpture was placed on rezoned, I’m having a hard time rationalizing the attention the admittedly skinny pineapple has generated.
I don’t know how much money you plan to make to warrant the commissioning of a $173,000 metal pineapple, but I imagine it’s quite the sizeable sum. I might be just joining the dots of a picture I don’t quite fully understand here, but sounds to me like people are expressing their displeasure of the rezoning via passive-aggression.
Well, either that or an incorrectly shaped and tilted 7m tall pineapple really is a big deal down in Yuanlin.
Yuanlin Township Secretary-General Lai Chih-fu (賴致富) said the township had told the county government earlier that several residents found parts of the statue to be “unlike the original fruit they were supposed to resemble.”
The government had told the companies how the residents felt about the statue, and asked them to take those feelings into consideration and remove the statue, Changhua County Government Department of Land Director Wang Yin-ho (王銀和) said.
However, the artist who designed the statue insisted it was a work of art, Wang added.
Wang said the government respected the artist’s opinion, but took residents’ complaints seriously, and that the county government would continue to negotiate an acceptable resolution with the companies that commissioned the statue.
Something tells me that pineapple isn’t going anywhere anytime soon…