CCT: AIPS profile - R.Adzema

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Robert Adzema
 
 
{Adzema}
Sheng
Central Connecticut State University, New Britain
exterior sundial sculpture
painted aluminum
entrance to Samuel S.T. Chen Art Center
1987
 
 
Sheng, a south facing vertical meridian sundial sculpture, takes its name from the Chinese ideogram which means "well" or "ascending".  Symbolically, the sculpture represents the moment of creative realization where the physical (below) and the spiritual (above) comes together and pass through an aperture. 
 
 

Sheng is a south facing vertical, meridian sundial sculpture for the entrance to the Stanley Street School Building.

 

As with all sundials, it consists of basically two parts; the gnomon which casts the shadow and the dial plate which measures the time.  In this design the gnomon is a flat rectangular form with a circular opening.  The dial plate is a series of bars parallel to the gnomon with corresponding hour numbers to mark the time. 

 

In this design time is told when the morning sun shines through the circular opening to cast a dramatic light ellipse upon the hour bars on the eastern face to mark the morning hours.  In the afternoon this ellipse of light recedes out along the hour bars on the western face to mark the afternoon hours.  At noon, when the sun is on the North-south meridian, no shadows appear on the bars. 

 

Sheng is site specific not only because it is a sundial, but because of the unique nature of the site.  As we face the entrance to the building, the land falls away from left to right and from the building to the street.  The North-South meridian of the site, which is the major plane of the sculpture, is approximately 11 degrees off axis from the line of the entrance pathway.  The result is a dramatic tension between the axis and lift of the sculpture and the fall of the landscape.

 

Sheng is made of aluminum over a stainless steel stem and painted with a bright yellow, acrylic urethane enamel.  It is 20 feet tall by 96 wide and 58 deep.