A small group of local artists gathered at the Jardin de las Granadas this morning for the reinstallation of artist Jenchi Wu’s public exhibition “Sentimental Sentinels” after one of four statues was vandalized during Memorial Day weekend. Rather than mourning the loss of the piece, the informal ceremony celebrated the restoration of Wu’s family of statues.
“Of course I was sad to see someone take on art as their channel of destruction,” Wu said of the incident, “but when I first heard about it I also thought, ‘Oh, my work actually interacted with the people.’”
Accordingly, Wu sees the work as an opportunity to interact with residents through complementing the familial atmosphere of the Santa Barbara community. “As an artist, I felt really lucky to participate in the city.”
Rather than discouraging Wu, the experience was a motivation to create anew. “I want to restore the community of family rather than leaving the space empty,” Wu said, fittingly surrounded by her own family during the ceremony. As the new sculpture was mounted into its platform, Wu remarked that she felt it was the end of familial dysfunction.
The next installation in the Jardin de las Granadas exhibition series is set to be installed in October.