Artist Shan Shan Sheng, the San Francisco-Shanghai based artist internationally renowned for her public art glass sculptures and large-scale paintings, is currently participating in the 53rd Venice Biennale
(June 7–November 22, 2009) with her glass installation project, Open Wall.
The sculpture is sited on the island of Certosa across the lagoon from the Biennale entrance.
Open Wall (2009) is a large-scale glass
installation, restaging a single section of the Great Wall into a large scale outdoor work along Venice's historic Grand Canal.
Sheng's Open Wall project captures an interval of China's Great Wall,translating the historic structure as a temporary zone of glass architecture. Sheng’s installation engages in dialogue with this period of relative openness in contemporary China, engaging this dynamic and pivotal moment in history.
Consisting of 2,200 glass bricks that correspond to the years of the Great Wall’s Construction, the Open Wall is approximately 20 m (60ft) long, 2 m (6ft) high and 80 cm (2ft) deep. Sheng uses translucent stacked Venetian glass, a medium she has worked with extensively, to allude to dynastic Chinese architecture.