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A new two-ton, 18-foot sculpture of a red giant has appeared in Yaletown (VIDEO)

It's called 'The Proud Youth'

If you thought Yaletown might look better with a giant red human bent over, then today is a big day.

A new sculpture has been added to the downtown neighbourhood courtesy of the Vancouver Biennale. The sculpture festival has brought 'The Proud Youth' to the seawall just off Marinaside Crescent.

"It’s a clear shout-out to our inner child, and the perfect, playful beginning to the Vancouver Biennale’s six-month extension to its 2018-2020 exhibition," states the festival organizers in a press release.

Vancouver is Awesome went down to the new art to find out more and get people's reactions; check out the video to see what people thought of it.


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The Vancouver Biennale usually runs for two years at a time; right now we're nearing the end of the 2018-2020 edition dubbed 're-IMAGE-n.' However, it's been extended for at least six months.

"The full program will unfold over the spring and summer months and include new public art installations, BIKEnnale/WALKennale interactive walking and cycling tours, free online educational programs, a new and highly addictive YouTube channel, and immersive augmented reality experiences that will redefine your relationship with art in public space," states the organizers.

'The Proud Youth' is the creation of Chinese sculptor Chen Wenling. He was inspired in part by a book; the name is from a Wuxia (Martial Heroes) novel called The Smiling, Proud Wanderer (Xiao Ao Jiang Hu 笑傲江湖).

"The bright red colour signifies not only auspiciousness in Chinese tradition, but also a testament to the artist’s fiery attitude towards life. The red figure, naked and free, fully reveals his honesty and fearlessness," states the festival website.

People can expect a few more public art exhibits to pop up soon as part of the extension. There'll be a LED message board akin to what you see cautioning drivers (except this one will warn about other types of issues), a giant green jellybean and an augmented reality art installation under Cambie Bridge.

"When we announced in May of 2018 the curatorial theme re-IMAGE-n for our 2018-2020 exhibition, we never imagined that halfway through we’d have to reimagine the exhibition itself," says Barrie Mowatt, founder and artistic director, in the press release. "Then along came COVID. It’s been a time of great discovery for us, finding new opportunities for collaboration, new ways to connect to global audiences, and new ways to create and evolve the experience of public art."

- with files from Thor Diakow

Youth_Thor3'The Proud Youth' by Chen Wenling is part of the extended Vancouver Biennale. By Thor Diakow / Vancouver is Awesome.

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