Though the Legend of the White Snake originated as a Chinese folk tale during the Tang Dynasty, Professor Jason Yi has brought it to Wisconsin Avenue as a sculpture.
Yi’s sculpture of the same name is on view at 580 W. Wisconsin Avenue now through the end of October as part of Sculpture Milwaukee, “a new annual outdoor urban sculpture experience” featuring 22 total downtown sculptures between the art museum and 6th Street.
According to the Sculpture Milwaukee website, “the White Snake yearned to join human society,” taking the form of a woman. But “because snakes are considered evil in Chinese culture, a monk imprisoned Madam Snake—it is her cage that Yi evokes in his tangled construction.”
The sculpture made of PVC tubes and connectors was built entirely onsite over the course of eight days, despite some inclement weather.
“I was fortunate to have dedicated assistants who knew the aesthetic I was envisioning and worked tirelessly to build the work on time,” says Yi. Those assistants included MIAD alumni Maeve Jackson ’14, Dominic Chambers ’16, Riley Niemack ’16, Sarah Sutterfield ’17 and Jaalah Hall ’17, as well as Nikoli Koslow and Natalie Schmitting.
Yi hopes that his sculpture and the others (including one from alumnus Paul Druecke) will foster discussion in the community. “Hopefully the works will reinforce the importance of art and how it can enrich our lives.”
Learn more about the project and hear from Yi here.