Hongtao Zhou
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Snow Furniture Dancing at Milwaukee Art Museum
It has been a long wait for this moment since my last year’s Snow and Ice Furniture in Madison.

This year, Milwaukee Art Museum invited me to do an installation at its front lawn facing Lake Michigan, at the end of January 2010 when it held its first ever Green Furniture Show and Green Fair for the city. I decided that this year's furniture should look more “melty” to convey a sense of global warming.

My worry started when all the snow on the lawn melted before I started the project. The ice cover also disappeared from Lake Michigan. It was getting warmer and warmer. I thought the exhibition might be canceled, but did not give up. I started to look for snow from surrounding areas and hoped for some cold days. Chipstone Foundation helped to collect some icy snow from nearby corners, and luckily, a colder week was also around the corner.

On Dec 27th, Lake Michigan regained a thin ice cover. I threw a rock to make a hole and drew water with a bucket and a rope from a 12 foot high bank. Once the water and snow were mixed well, I shaped the slash around a slim tree branch to help the curved legs and stretchers stand. Cold wind started to solidify the new structures. The chairs and table began to take shape in the shadow of the white wings of the Museum building.

The furniture might have looked like they were dancing when they were melting. Maybe it forecasted the last dance of the current industrial world, or of human civilization if we do not change the way we live.

Green Fair at the Milwaukee Art Museum:
http://www.mam.org/calendar/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=1385&year=2010&month=1
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