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Royal College artists to transform Whitefriargate into 'Rainbow-friargate'

An artistic impression of Tsai & Yoshikawa's installationArtists Hsiao-Chi Tsai & Kimiya Yoshikawa are the next artists to transform Whitefriargate's streetscape as part of the 'Arts in Empty Spaces' scheme that has seen three high-profile artists illuminate the historic street.

From Friday 25 February, three unusual large-scale dynamic sculptures titled 'Rainbow-Friargate' will be in place, inspired by the seaport character of Hull.

Hsiao-Chi Tsai, from Taiwan, and Kimiya Yoshikawa, from Japan, have been working and exhibiting collaboratively since graduating from the Royal College of Art in London in 2006. Their joint practice combines the varied expertise of Yoshikawa's sculpture background and Tsai's mixed-media textile designs.

Tsai & Yoshikawa use everyday materials, but innovatively transform them into extraordinary creations. One of the Whitefriargate works is called 'Firework Celebration', and uses an innovative balloon stretching technique to create an elegant sculptural form that will look like blown glass. Multiples of this shape will be used, in order to appear as a "beautiful explosion of fireworks above the sea".

In another of the Whitefriargate pieces, 'Blooming Propeller', Tsai & Yoshikawa will display multiple intricate organic shapes made out of contrasting shiny florescent Perspex and matt foam, which will radiate out from the centre of the sculpture to create a surreal flower-like, large-scale lighting sculpture.

Tsai & Yoshikawa said:

"Our style of work will transform the windows of eight empty shop units imaginatively whilst engaging with the surrounding environment, to bring continued vibrancy and a cheerful atmosphere to the Whitefriargate Street. We are very excited about using UV paints, which will add an exciting element in that the artwork will transform its appearance from day to night. You will surprisingly find the work unveiling its hidden colours and glowing vividly in the dark!"

Eliza Mann, Head of public realm at Arc, said:

"Tsai & Yoshikawa produce unique sculptures and art installations, which are often cheerful, welcoming, offering dramatic visual impact to their locations. Their shared interest in modern materials and constantly exploring new methods of manipulating them makes their work truly innovative and contemporary."

The project has been commissioned by Hull City Council and Arts Council England, and project managed by Arc, to celebrate and animate this very special part of the city and forms part of a wider programme of activity aimed at encouraging interest in the Trinity Quarter area of Hull. The installation is the fourth in a series of artworks aimed at exploring the relationship between the streetscape and shops with the people who use it every day. The 'Art in empty spaces' initiative would not have been possible without the support of Hull Trinity House, who have supplied each of the four artists with free access to the empty shops on Whitefriargate.

Rick Welton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Housing Strategy, said:

"This project has seen Whitefriargate become illuminated through banners, lightboxes, projections and now luminous sculptures. These public artworks make this important shopping street more attractive to visitors with renewed vibrancy and interest. It all goes to show how artists, not just architects, can have a role in shaping our city and the way we experience it. I'm looking forward to seeing Tsai & Yoshikawa's exciting installation."

The installation will run throughout the Spring and until 13 May 2011 on Whitefriargate, in Hull City Centre.

More of Hsiao-Chi Tsai & Kimiya Yoshikawa's work can be seen on their website.

For further information, please contact us.



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Arc is proud to be funded by the following organisations:
Arts Council England NPS CABE Hull City Council Architecture Centre Network Arts Council Gateway East Riding Council Heritage Lottery Fund Hull and East Yorkshire Community Foundation