Arts & Entertainment and Travel & Tourism

Meijer Gardens acquires sculpture by Korean artist

August 27, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Forest Path Meijer Gardens
Lee Ufan’s “Relatum: Forest Path” is the first permenant sculpture in the Woodland Shade Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Courtesy Peter McDaniel

A major sculpture work has found a home in Grand Rapids.

Korean painter and sculptor Lee Ufan’s “Relatum: Forest Path” recently found a permanent place at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Ufan visited Meijer Gardens in 2012 and selected a spot in the Gwen Frostic Woodland Shade Garden for his piece. He came back to the area to select granite boulders from local quarries that would be part of the sculpture.

The piece is the Woodland Shade Garden’s first permanent piece.

This acquisition along with others pieces by artists such as Jenny Holzer and Ai WeiWei and the opening of the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden has helped Meijer Gardens’ 20th anniversary break attendance records, said Joseph Becherer, vice president and chief curator.

More than 80,000 people visited the gardens in June, when the Japanese Garden opened. In July, approximately 101,000 people visited Meijer Gardens, just the second time the 100,000 mark has been hit in 20 years. Meijer Gardens attracts approximately 600,000 people annually and was ranked one of the top 100 most-visited art museums in the world by Art Newspaper.

“For Meijer Gardens, the project with Lee Ufan is a milestone in our development as one of nation's leading arts and horticultural organizations,” said Becherer. “In this site-specific commission, he has thoroughly engaged with the Woodland Shade Garden in this monumental project with great sensitivity and insight.”

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