Anish Kapoor to Sue Over Chinese Knock-Off of Chicago’s ‘Bean’ Sculpture
The two sculptures are almost identical.
Anish Kapoor has accused Chinese authorities of “blatant plagiarism” after a sculpture unveiled in Karamay, Xinjiang appeared to be almost identical to the British artist’s Cloud Gate (2006) installation in Chicago’s Millennium Park.
Kapoor’s public artwork in Chicago, affectionately referred to as “The Bean” by locals, has become a city landmark and a popular tourist attraction. The 110-ton stainless steel structure was conceived to reflect the clouds and the midwestern city’s famous skyline.
Now, the Indian-born artist is reportedly considering legal action against the town of Karamay—which commissioned the work—in order to protect his copyrights, and he called on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to support him, the Independent reported.
According to the Telegraph the Turner Prize winner said in a statement, “It seems that in China today it is permissible to steal the creativity of others. I feel I must take this to the highest level and pursue those responsible in the courts. I hope the Mayor of Chicago will join me in this action.”
The artist emphasized, “The Chinese authorities must act to stop this kind of infringement and allow the full enforcement of copyright.”
Meanwhile in China the identity of the artist commissioned to create the sculpture has not been revealed. City officials in Karamay have only divulged that he is Chinese.
However, Ma Jun, a spokesperson from the Karamay tourism bureau, went on the record to defend the sculpture, telling the Wall Street Journal that while Kapoor’s sculpture was “a bean shape,” the sculpture in Karamay “looks like an oil bubble.”
He explained, “The idea of the oil bubble comes from the Black Oil Mountain, which is a natural oil well in Karamay…While we use similar materials, the shapes and meanings are different. Cloud Gate intends to reflect the sky, but ours reflects the ground.”
He insisted, “You can’t say we’re not allowed to build a round sculpture because there already is a round one.”
Follow artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.