The series of Vancouver Biennale Open Air Museum installations has grown once again, with the latest addition, WOW Westminster, making its home along the Fraser River on the northeast side of Westminster Pier Park. On Tuesday morning, crews were making the finishing touches on the 42.6-metre (140 feet) piece.
Created by Brazilian artist José Resende, WOW Westminster weighs 15.4 tonnes (34,000 lbs.), and was created out of four 12.1 metre-long (40 feet) shipping containers. Constructed in the shape of a 'W', the massive, gravity-defying piece is a commanding figure along the stretch of railway that runs parallel to Front Street, just beneath the SkyTrain bridge between New West and Surrey.
Vancouver Biennale's senior curator Marcello Dantas selected the artist and location.
"Resende’s WOW Westminster is not only an interpretation of the economic activity of the Fraser River and the flow of goods through trains, ships and trucks, it’s also about capturing the energy & history of this transportation hub, the transformation of the City of New Westminster and it’s waterfront into a recreational arts and cultural playground," he said in a press release. "WOW Westminster will become a respite for citizens and an icon of the city and region for decades as viewers explore the river side walk along Westminster Pier Park.”
This is the third Vancouver Biennale public artwork in New Westminster, although it is the only one that will remain as a legacy piece once the Biennale is over. Hugo Franco's Public Furniture/Urban Trees is located at the waterfront esplanade between Renaissance Square and Reliance Cour, while Konstantin Dimopoulos' 31 Blue Trees can be found near City Hall, in Pier Park, and on Royal Avenue.
WOW Westminster will be officially unveiled on Saturday (November 28) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guided walking tours will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.