“Flower Tree” in Lyon, France
Walking in downtown Lyon, you’ll first find Place Bellecour, the largest open-air square in Europe (as in, the largest without obstructions in the middle of it). You’ll see Fourvière at the top on the hill—that impressive cathedral that sits next to the Roman amphitheater of the same name. If you wander a bit more, you might spot a strange plastic tree made out of colourful flowers the size of tires on Antonin Poncet Square that looks like it belongs to Dr. Seuss. Designed by the Korean Jeong-Hwa Choi, it was for the 7th biennial festival of Contemporary Art in Lyon called “It Happened Tomorrow” (2003—2004). “Flower Tree” became so popular that the city of Lyon decided to plant it permanently by the banks of the Rhône. Interestingly enough, it seems to have a twin in Shanghai on Gubei Road. People didn’t originally like it, but, as with most contemporary art, they grew to appreciate it over time.