Vincent Cheung

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Friday, January 12, 2007

The Collapsed

The Collapsed (front)

The Collapsed (back)

My snow sculpture is complete and after much delay, I present you with it's public unveiling. The work makes a statement about some of the challenges that we face through life and making the most of the time that we have. While at first glance, it seems that the work speaks about a grand challenge where a single difficulty resulted in immediate submission. However, upon closer examination, the multi-layer nature of the piece becomes apparent, as there were two distinct collapses that occurred. Not to be deterred by the first obstacle, persistence won, but it is important to not be foolish and realize when to stop. It is about picking your fights and balancing persistence with sensibility. Don't be deterred by difficulties encountered, but also, don't waste your time in a losing battle and suffer further pains with no retribution. It's like relationships, whether they be friendship or otherwise. You need to work to build these relationships and establish trust and your progress should not be simply tossed aside at the first sign of difficulty; however, sometimes there are just irreconcilable differences and it is not worth the effort and it is best to take what dignity you have left and spend your time in things that will reap the most reward. Scientific research comes across in very much the same light. It is important to try new ideas and work though the inevitable problems, but it's also important not to try to reap obviously unfruitful pastures, however fruitful they were in previous seasons, as it will just end up being a waste of your time; time which could be better spend on a different problem. There is also the chance that you will come back to it at a later time with some additional help, new ideas, better equipment, or drought resistant crops. Finally, this piece reminds you of the ephemeral, transient, and cyclical nature of some of the things we encounter. Things will eventually evolve and others will come and go despite our desires, but they are not gone forever. The memories will always remain and anything worthwhile can be restored or rebuilt, potentially even greater than before. Time heals and gives you second chances, but don't make the same mistakes the second time around.

As a special treat for my readers, I have included some exclusive sneak peeks at some of the behind the scenes material to appear in the special release DVD of the documentary about my snow sculpture! Enjoy!

Reportedly Winnipeg's 6th biggest snowfall in 40 years

This sudden gift from mother nature completely changed how my piece turned out.

About a foot of new powder

Winnipeggers didn't blink an eye at the snowfall. Work continued as per usual with no mass panic or military presence.

The first collapse

The collapse was a result of a combination of the weight of the new snow and foolishly trying to increase the height of the quinzee.

Clean-up from the first collapse and massive extension to the right

The extension was made easy because of the abundance of new, light, easy to shovel snow and some earlier help from my older sister.


Bob said...

Too many big words. Ugh. My brain hurts.

Asirap said...

I think your sculpture embodies the eternal struggle between man's efforts of technological advancement in the face of Earth's limited natural resources. However, despite our best efforts at structural domination, Mother Nature triumphs in the end, leaving us cold and stranded, just as we were in the beginning, dumbfounded and staring at a pile of snow.

Florence said...

Pretty impressive. Too bad it didn't survive. There's always next year!

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