It's the work of thirty 3D printers dedicated to an artist's vision, and while it's not quite complete, it will have consumed over 1,200 pounds of filament and be more than 26 feet long when it's finished next month.
Taiwanese artist Hung-Chih Peng has created a magnificent sculpture which will ultimately include more than 100,000 3D printed pieces.
Peng is clearly a man who has a vision. His latest work, The Deluge – Noah's Ark, is currently on exhibit at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. According to Peng, it's meant to provide a metaphor for the ongoing battle waged by Mother Nature on our industrialized civilization. The artist, born in Taipei City, Taiwan, now lives and works in Taipei and Beijing.
"Human beings are unable to return to the unspoiled living environment of the past, and have become victims of their own endeavors. In the biblical time, Noah's Ark is the last resort for humans to escape from the termination of the world," Peng says. "If Noah's Ark sinks, where is the hope of the human race? If Noah's Ark, a symbol of mankind's salvation, becomes just as a shipwreck, human and nonhuman would be placed in an equal position. Human subject is losing his predominance as the supreme center of the world."
A reflection of ferry disasters, floods and ecological crises, Peng says The Deluge – Noah's Ark is meant to be an examination of the impotence human beings face when confronted with catastrophic events in nature.
In the past, Peng has built installation, video, painting and sculptural pieces which include elements of art, religion and humanity to explore contemporary culture and reflect upon history. The artist's earlier work focused on how dogs have played a critical role in human conceptualizations of the spiritual world. For his Canine Monk, Peng created a dog who literally takes the place of the artist and writes texts from religious scriptures on a wall.
"I use art to criticize society," Peng says. "I wish to forcefully grasp fragile and entirely oppositional poles, allowing them to coexist. I want to take all my work, no matter if it's video, sculpture, installation, or painting, and create an image lattice, which allows viewers to enter the mind and achieve the goal of dissemination. Art should be a tool of propaganda, a tool to awaken the collective conscience. This is the only choice under very pressing conditions."
But this project, sponsored by Chinese 3D printer manufacturer Beijing Tiertime, marks the first time the artist has used 3D printing to realize his vision, and it's a big statement indeed.