Metempsychosis - CODAworx


Submitted by yuelai ruan

Client: Shanghai Yue Hua Hotel

Location: Shanghai, China

Completion date: 2010

Artwork budget: $48,900

Project Team


Yecheng Huang

Quadrant Art Design

Interior Designer

Tao Chen

Quadrant Art Design


Baochuan Fan

Quadrant Art Design


This work is a large-sized wall sculpture created in perfect harmony with the commercial space. The work’s space arrangement is based on the theory of traditional Chinese wall painting. It is separated into three parts — left part, central part and right part. The central part is 3.5 meter high and 2 meter long. The left and right parts are setted symmetrically. The building material of this work is mainly brass, with ruby dotted across the surface. The brass forging technique, polishing technique, the jewelry cutting skills and mounting skills are used to combine these two materials harmoniously.


Searching for a proper combination of the commercial space and works of the artists is another research topic of mine. Since nowadays the booming commercial space resulted in the uneven quality and style in inner space decoration, I am trying to find a very point where artistic works can satisfy both the commercial needs and meet people’s expectation to their aesthetic beauty. This work is made up of traditional brass materials with some parts decorated with ruby. It is not only consistent with luxury, the commercial requirement, but also showing a brave attempt of the artist to combine different materials in this work.


The inspiration of this sculpture comes from the motto --“Life is the most important and it should develop in harmony with nature”-- the theological concept of Taoism regarding life and time. The theological translation of transmigration, life and time is the most important concept in Chinese Taoism. Therefore in Shanghai, the young but time-honored city, I choose to use gears and flowers as factors to explain my understanding of this motto.
The left and right parts of the sculpture have gears of different kinds accumulated and interwoven with each other, inferring the common character during the development of different time period in Shanghai, that is making joint efforts and step forward, just like those gears linking with each other and rolling advance. The principal factor in the central part is also gears. On top of the sculpture are “Gear Flowers” which are abstracted from the gears, inferring that life flowers of Shanghai are in full bloom in the very time of the very space.

Additional Information

During my work designing, I invited some jewelry artists of my school to discuss about the possibility to combine jewelry and sculpture in a single work. During my creation, I found that there is enough room for jewelry’s cutting to play in the sculpture design. The shiningness of the jewelry and the unique quality of brass will create a luxurious, delicate but grand visual sense.