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The ride of his life

By Yang Yijun (China Daily)

09:39, June 06, 2012

French artist Niko de La Faye poses with his kinetic sculpture - M2B in Beijing. Mathias Megg / For China Daily

When French artist Niko de la Faye decided to show off his sculpture to more people, he just got on his trike. Yang Yijun reports in Shanghai.

After his kinetic sculpture was displayed in Beijing for a year, French artist Niko de la Faye decided to transfer the piece to Shanghai. He rode it there. De la Faye was on the road for five weeks, riding his kinetic sculpture - M2B, which looks like a tricked-out tricycle - for 1,660 km.

"The traditional three-wheel bike has been part of the Chinese economy for a significant part of the 20th century," says de la Faye, who has been in Beijing for two years. "It has been used through the years in many different ways, from being a basic delivery vehicle to itinerant restaurant and shop-on-wheels."

"M2B was created to be a 'poetical interference'. The whole structure is a representation of the universe."

The sculpture is a cubic stainless steel structure, based on the yin-and-yang symbol. Eight black and white balls representing bagua, or trigrams from Taoist cosmology, are installed in the eight corners of the sculpture.

Spheres, prisms and cubes in red, yellow and blue are set inside the cubic structure, representing the elementary particles that make up the universe.

"When the tricycle is moving, it animates the whole system due to the belts connected to the wheel," he says, explaining that M2B means "from MUKS (Mobile Urban Kinetic Sculpture) to BEKS (Butterfly Effect Kinetic Sculpture)".

When he arrived in Shanghai on the evening of May 29, he displayed M2B at the intersection of Fenyang Road and Taiyuan Road in the former French Concession, inspiring considerable interest.

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