Yue Minjun, China
Title: A-maze-ing Laughter
Artist: Yue Minjun (b. 1962, China)
Medium: 14 patinated cast-bronze figures
Dimensions: 259 cm (102 in) tall
Weight: 250 kg (551 lbs)
Location: Morton Park (Davie Street and Denman Street) at English Bay in Vancouver
A-maze-ing Laughter is the most beloved sculpture of the 2009-2011 Vancouver Biennale exhibition, captivating throngs of visitors and inspiring endless playful interaction. This artwork is a legacy of the Vancouver Biennale and was presented as a gift to the people of Vancouver thanks to a generous donation from Chip and Shannon Wilson. It has quickly become an iconic cultural beacon in the city and will continue to inspire and engage the imagination of future generations of residents and visitors from its home in Morton Park. Having been nominated in the Canadian Institute of Planners’ “Great Places in Canada Contest” in 2013, it was the only work of art in the nation to receive a nomination. This beloved installation helped the West End neighbourhood win the 2015 “Great Place in Canada – Great Neighbourhood” Award.
In A-maze-ing Laughter Beijing-based artist Yue Minjun depicts his own iconic laughing image, with gaping grins and closed eyes in a state of hysterical laughter, elements that contribute to the artist’s signature trademark. The longer one looks at the 14 cast-bronze figures, the more the contradiction of the silent, frozen form of sculpture becomes obvious.
“I’d like to extend my most sincere gratitude to the Vancouver Biennale and the Chip Wilson family, who helped me realize my dream to have my work, A-maze-ing Laughter, become a legacy public art work in Vancouver,” says artist Yue Minjun. “I appreciate your respect and passion for art. My intention when making this series of sculptures was to use art to touch the heart of each visitor and to have them enjoy what art brings to them. I feel honored and happy to have my work displayed in Vancouver. I seem to have seen your smiling faces in my heart.”
Listen to the Audio Tour by Jessica Wallin:
Watch the A-maze-ing Laughter Guided Tour