A new 24-foot sculpture of a red lotus flower was unveiled in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza today.

The sculpture, titled “Breathing Flower,” was created by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa and is being showcased as part of the nearby Asian Art Museum’s “Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past” exhibition, which will run through Sept. 2.

It will be illuminated at night and has motorized fabric leaves that will open and close to simulate the movement of a live lotus flower, according to museum officials.

Mayor Ed Lee was on hand for the unveiling of the sculpture today and joked that he had told his friends “to look for my red Lotus parked outside City Hall,” a reference to the Lotus brand of high-priced sports cars.

Lee said the sculpture was an example of the beauty of San Francisco and “our inheritance of being a gateway to all of the different viewpoints that happen around the world.”

“Breathing Flower” is the latest large art installation placed in the Civic Center Plaza.
A 26-foot Buddha sculpture titled “Three Heads Six Arms” was stationed in the plaza for several months in 2010 and 2011 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of San Francisco’s sister-city relationship with Shanghai, China.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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