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New Public Art Unveiled on Campus
You may have noticed that a huge pair of Chinese rosebud leaves has recently appeared on the lawn in front of the TSMC Building, near the school's south entrance. This is the latest creation of the noted Spanish landscape artist Juanjo Novella. Titled Leaf, this eye-catching piece of landscape art also gives the impression of a butterfly getting ready to take off. By day, sunlight passes through the rust-colored veins to project a flowing tapestry of light and shadow. With a height of 8.7 meters and a width of 7.5 meters, the sculpture is slightly tilted, and weighs about eight metric tons. Made by drilling over ten thousand holes into steel plates, despite its huge mass, it has a lightweight and elegant feel, and only touches the ground at three points.
 
Novella said that, having already applied brown paint, he plans to allow the steel to age naturally, and that after about half a year, its hue will stabilize and become even more beautiful. Novella’s inspiration for his latest work came when he was given a Chinese redbud leaf while taking a tour of the NTHU campus in 2016.
 
In fact, the Chinese redbud was one of the runners up for NTHU school flower (the plum blossom was the winner), and is the namesake of the annual Redbud Fair, one of the most popular events on campus.
 
During the unveiling ceremony, President Hocheng Hong said that he is overwhelmed by the beauty of this steel leaf and it is a welcomed addition to the wide range of public art spreading over the entire campus.
 
Novella has been producing public art for over three decades, and said that this is an excellent site for this work, allowing it to take on a different appearance throughout the day and night. His primary inspiration comes from nature, and he specializes in creating works that highlight the natural transformations of light and shadow without blocking the surrounding scenery.
 
"To me, these two leaflets represent the polarities of both man and nature—positive and negative, yin and yang, black and white," explained Novella, adding that they might also be seen as a shelter, an umbrella, a shield, or even a door inviting people into his world, to peer through these two leaves while enjoying the sunrise and sunset. Novella is an internationally acclaimed landscape artist whose works can be seen in Spain, Portugal, the United States, Dubai, and elsewhere. One of his more ingenious works is a half-leaf in Sestao, Spain, which becomes whole when its shadow appears. Leaf is Novella’s first piece of public artwork in Taiwan.
 
Having developed a liking for traditional Chinese culture, Novella has taken to wearing a Tang suit, and has transliterated his given name Juanjo into Mandarin as Huangho (黃猴, Yellow Monkey), and is planning to design a yellow monkey logo for himself.
 

Juanjo Novella (left) and President Hocheng Hong in front of Leaf.

Juanjo Novella (left) and President Hocheng Hong in front of Leaf.


Leaf illuminated at night, with the TSMC Building in the background.

Leaf illuminated at night, with the TSMC Building in the background.


Novella in front of Leaf.

Novella in front of Leaf.


Novella in front of Leaf, his latest work of public art.

Novella in front of Leaf, his latest work of public art.


Juanjo Novella (left) and President Hocheng Hong in front of Leaf.

Juanjo Novella (left) and President Hocheng Hong in front of Leaf.


A large number of students attended the unveiling ceremony.

A large number of students attended the unveiling ceremony.


The stylized leaf invites viewers to interact with it both day and night.

The stylized leaf invites viewers to interact with it both day and night.

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