SWA - CODAworx


Submitted by Sijia Chen

Client: Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport

Location: Jieyang, China

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $500,000

Project Team


SWA is a permanent outdoor installation located in front of the airport’s main terminal, and is comprised of three steel structures presenting the letters S, W, and A, which comprise the airport’s IATA location identifier. The structures are mounted above a body of water, and are internally illuminated with LED lighting elements so that they are visible at night.


An integral design aspect and goal of the letter structures was the application of traditional papercut art techniques to the exterior steel skin. By removing sections of the structures’ steel skin and painting them in a red color palette, the intent was to emulate the red paper medium used in traditional Chinese papercut art.


For this project, I assembled and directed a team comprised of a 3D computer modelling programmer, structural, electrical, lighting, and public works engineers, steel fabricator, general contractor, landscape architect, and conservator, in coordination with airport and local government officials.