Sculptor creates Formula One cars with meaning

Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:43am EDT
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By Miral Fahmy

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Pintor Sirait loathes Formula One racing, so it's fitting the renowned Indonesian sculptor chose the superfast cars to highlight what he believes is wrong with mankind.

Sirait's stainless steel replicas of F1 race cars -- some life-size, some small enough to fit on a desk -- are mangled, riddled with bullets, inscribed with Chinese and Arabic script, engraved with traditional Javanese designs or kisses, and covered in provocative English phrases and supermarket-like barcodes.

The aim, Sirait says, is to make people stop and think about the state of modern man, and just what make Formula One racing so attractive.

"I hate Formula One," Sirait told Reuters on Friday, the opening day of his latest exhibition in Singapore, which hosts the world's only night-time Grand Prix race on Sept 25-27.

"It's loud, its obnoxious, but it's also something that excites people all over the world. For one reason or another, its become a symbol, something that people worship, and I wanted to explore exactly what is being worshipped."

Sirait has held several exhibitions outside his native Indonesia, including the Netherlands, China, France, Korea, Malaysia and the United States.

He started the racing car series, of which eight sculptures are on display in Singapore alongside helmets that echo tribal masks, three years ago, as a symbol of globalization.

"Formula 1 race cars ... have become something of an obsession in Asia, standing as an intense, telescoped symbol of globalization," author and journalist Jamie James wrote in the exhibition's catalog.   Continued...

<p>Installation by Indonesian sculptor Pintor Sirait is seen at a shopping mall in Singapore, September 18, 2009. REUTERS/Pablo Sanchez</p>