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Giant Portuguese cock takes flight for Beijing and Shanghai

Ten-metre-high illuminated sculpture was originally created for Rio de Janeiro

by José da Silva  |  30 December 2016
Giant Portuguese cock takes flight for Beijing and Shanghai
Joana Vasconcelos's Pop Galo (2016) (Photo: © Luís Vasconcelos; courtesy of Unidade Infinita Projectos)
A giant cock by the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos will be shown in Beijing as part of the celebrations to mark the Chinese New Year on 28 January 2017 and the beginning of the year of the rooster. It will then be displayed in Shanghai.

The ten-metre-high sculpture, Pop Galo, which represents the symbol of the city of Barcelos in northern Portugal, has been on display on the Lisbon waterfront since last month. It consists of 17,000 hand-made tiles and is illuminated at night by 15,000 LED lights, using almost 9km of electrical cable. 

The intersection of the local and the global lies at the heart of the work, Vasconcelos says. “The rooster of Barcelos is one of the most recognised icons of Portugal,” she says, but there is also “an incredible richness” of stories and meanings associated with the rooster “in different cultures, particularly in China and Brazil”.

The sculpture was originally meant to be unveiled in Rio de Janeiro in time for the Olympic Games earlier this year but the project was postponed due to the “political climate” in Brazil, said a spokeswoman for the project. “But the aim to exhibit it in Rio remains.”

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