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Christchurch farewells Quasi

on a rooftop, a large statue of a hand standing upright on its fingers, with a human face on its back

Ronnie van Hout, Quasi (2016). Steel, polystyrene and resin. Commissioned by Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu. Courtesy of the artist.

Quasi, the five-metre tall sculpture of artist Ronnie van Hout’s face and hand, disappeared from the roof of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū on Tuesday.

The Gallery commissioned van Hout to create Quasi as a temporary installation for the city. The giant, surreal artwork has enlivened Christchurch’s skyline since June 2016, and is now leaving Christchurch permanently to take up a new home at a prominent location in Wellington.

Quasi, which is made from polystyrene and painted resin reinforced with steel, will be lifted off the roof by crane and unbolted in two pieces to be packaged securely and shipped to its new home.

Christchurch Art Gallery director Blair Jackson says the thought-provoking piece has been a much talked-about symbol of fun and good humour within the city.

“We commissioned Quasi at a time when Ōtautahi was dealing with some pretty serious post-earthquake issues, and we wanted to bring humour and energy to the city,” Jackson says.

“As with all good contemporary art, we knew it would engage and challenge people’s perceptions of art and get us talking to each other.”

“It’s been one of the most photographed artworks in the city, and I’m sure it will turn heads at its new home.”

Quasi was removed from the roof of the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū on Tuesday 26 February.

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