One hundred wolves sculpted by the Chinese artist Liu Ruowang are prowling Florence’s piazza Pitti and piazza Santissima Annunziata until November 2.
The attention-grabbing installation reflects on the predatory nature of humankind towards the environment and the over-advancement of contemporary society thanks to a partnership between the City of Florence and the Gallerie degli Uffizi.
The intimidating pack of wolves shaped by Liu Ruowang each comprise 100 iron castings and weigh in at 280 kilograms. The installation aims to inspire reflection on the values of civilization and the uncertain times in which we are currently living, made increasingly evident by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wolves Coming interacts freely with the city’s architecture, residents and visitors, or as Ruowang describes, “to teach love and respect for art to the new generations, the best method is to insert art into everyday life, making museums more accessible. For instance, my sculptures are placed in squares. In this way, art also creates a connection with public spaces. It’s important to construct a culture of the common good.”
In a press release, Eike Schmidt, director of the Gallerie degli Uffizi comments, “In piazza Pitti, the pack of wolves that prepares us to enter the palazzo through the central doorway immediately reminds us of Nature’s dark counterattack in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, but it also reminds us about the many wild species that entered our city during lockdown. This is the metaphor of the human-nature relationship. By the presence of Liu Ruowang’s wolves in our piazzas—elegant wolves with chiseled manes like ancient Chinese bronzes—we will have several months to think about respecting the planet’s equilibrium.”
Prior to provoking thought in Florence’s piazzas, the sculptures were on show in the main city hall square in Naples. The exhibition is organized by Matteo Lorenzelli, owner of the Milan-based gallery Lorenzelli Arte, to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Italian Republic and the People’s Republic of China.