I completely missed this little project when it was launched in May last year. But yesterday morning on my daily commute to work I noticed an advertisement for it in Westminster tube station which I hadn’t spotted before.
As the escalator carried me away to the Jubilee line, I turned to browse the lists of artists involved in the project, and noticed a rather high-profile Korean one. And maybe they’re trying to relaunch this initiative, because I saw another poster for it yesterday evening at Holborn station on the way home. So although this post may be nine months late, it is still current. And here’s what I would have written had I known about it when it came around the first time:
Haegue Yang helps celebrate 150 years of the London Underground
The London Underground is 150 years old this year. Its first line, the Metropolitan Railway, which went from Paddington to Kings Cross and onwards into the City, opened on 10 January 1863. It was powered by steam locomotives.
To celebrate the anniversary, Art on the Underground has commissioned 15 artists to create a special signed and numbered limited edition artwork. Funds raised from sales will support the Art on the Underground programme. The celebration has been christened “15 for 150”
One of the fifteen chosen artists is Haegue Yang, who represented Korea at the Venice Biennale in 2009, and who had a solo show in Oxford’s Museum of Modern Art in 2011 as well as being featured in the Tate Modern Tanks in their first year.
Each work in London Underground’s collection comes in a limited edition of 50. Yang’s work is entitled “Convex Flesh and Concave Stone in Tune”.
Yang says of the work:
“Like most of us, I live in a city, only occasionally coming into contact with nature. I’ve ‘planted’ this image of a human hand outstretched towards a carved stone hand in the London Underground to suggest dichotomies of nature and technology, and to draw attention to the Tube’s mystical, cave-like qualities. It’s not clear whether the human hand is reaching for the stone or being drawn unwillingly to it; the moment is intentionally ambiguous and suggestive. What is clear is the haptic nature of the image, the importance of the sense of touch”
The opening price of this print is currently £150, but as the Transport for London website cautions: “Please note that prices may be subject to change. As is traditional in edition publishing prices will rise as the edition begins to sell out.”
See a larger version of the image – and buy your own limited edition print – on the Transport for London website. Your purchase will be accompanied by a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity. Alternatively, watch out for a poster-sized version of the work at Gloucester Road station, and maybe Southwark, St. James’s Park and London Bridge as well.
Prints are still available at £150.