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San Jose Convention Center raises public art awareness through new sculpture

Building community identity through art and exhibitions, City and Team San Jose Officials welcomed the installation of an exciting interactive public art sculpture at the San Jose Convention Center Plaza.

Creating a vast interactive exterior experience, the artwork, entitled Idea Tree, references the creative idea landscape of Silicon Valley, Calif.

“Idea Tree is symbolic of the innovative spirit alive in San Jose and reinforces the technological advancements in Silicon Valley,” said Bill Sherry, CEO, Team San Jose. “This installation provides an iconic, artistic and technology-driven element to the main entrance of the Convention Center and provides a new sense of place for conference attendees and visitors to San Jose.”

Adjacent to the Idea Tree canopy is a freestanding sound booth where the public can leave short voice messages that are wirelessly transmitted to the canopy and reassembled into an ambient soundscape audible from underneath the sculpture. At night the central element of the sculpture, which the artist calls ‘the fruit,’ is lit from within with a soothing pulse of LED light that changes rhythm signaling with the active mixing of sound.

“We live in a dynamic age, so public art cannot afford to remain as static objects of passive enjoyment,” said Soo-in Yang, artist and architect, Idea Tree. “Through my work, public art becomes a domain for active public participation and discussion, which is the concept behind Idea Tree.”

Soo-in Yang is an architect and public artist based in San Francisco and Seoul, Korea. His work ranges in breadth from architecture, participatory art and design to marketing campaigns, and in scale from buildings to palm-sized devices. From rooms made from recycled moss and plastic that indicate air quality to transforming noodle soups with embedded dynamic messages, Yang’s public artworks have been installed in the U.S., China and South Korea.

“The City of San Jose is thrilled to have Soo-in Yang’s innovative Idea Tree as an interactive visual element that welcomes visitors and the community to San Jose’s newly remodeled Convention Center,” said Kim Walesh, director of economic development and chief strategist, San Jose. “The art piece reflects San Jose’s leadership at the intersection of art and technology. It’s a significant addition to our growing Illuminating Downtown Project.”

The installation is one of the finishing touches to the Convention Center expansion and renovation project. With an addition of 125,000 square feet of flexible ballroom and meeting room space, San Jose’s Convention Center will be expanded to 550,000 square feet of usable space when completed.

Slated for completion in September 2013, the convention center and Idea Tree will officially open on Oct. 10, 2013, with a Community Day celebration, free and open to the public.

See related article:
San Jose Convention Center incorporates public art into new expansion

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