Tianhao Gao (Simon)

Socialist Utopia

The spiral tower is inspired by architect Vladimir Tatlin’s constructivist design for the Monument to the Third International. Tatlin Tower was never built. It delivers the meaning of an unrealized utopian dream. The tower for this installation is constructed with cardboard tubes and foam tubes on a wooden base. The mixed media sculpture ‘Concrete and Iron Utopia’ is installed in the centre. It depicts an array of Cold War architectures in ruin. The sculpture draws inspiration from the socialist monuments in former Yugoslavia that are abandoned and left to decay. Through the ruins, there is still a visible trace of the once awe-inspiring scene of the monumental creations in the past. There is something fascinating about ruins. Ruin can suggest the unfolding of time. Every ruined site that exists in the present tells the inevitable end of their past.
This installation depicts an overview of the rise and fall of a socialist utopia. The utopian hope and dystopian reality run through the passage of time, which results in construction and destruction, a process that keeps repeating itself in human history.