When the City of Vancouver initiated their Public Art Program, I was asked by Concord Pacific to work with Abe Rogatnick to develop a program and select sites for the Publicart. In Yaletown, the first neighbourhood to be developed under the Public Art Program. The first neighbourhood to part of the City’s Public Art Program was the Yaletown Neighbourhood. Here three artist were selected and their pieces were installed. The second neighbourhoodIn was the Roundhouse Neighbourhood. Here again, three artist were selected, but the City, in reviewing the locations where these three were to be located, accepted these, but insisted that the two water’s edge locations shown in Abe Rogatnick’s report also be added. In 1996, I was asked to provide the public art for these. The extension of the north/south axis past the roundhouse was the first and the extension of Pacific Boulevard to the east was the other.
For the proposal for the first site was to create a large nest of copper tubing and place in the center three polished granite egg shaped sculptures. The title was to be ” The Magic Dragon Nest” and based on the lyrics of the 1959 poem by Leonard Lipton and made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary. The lyrics, “Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea, And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee”. were to be changed to be “Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea, And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land of Victor Li” and cast into the edge of the seawall. Victor represented his father, Li Ka-shing, with the development of Concord Pacific at that time. For many reasons I was told to try again.
The next proposal for this site was to use the large pile of granite boulders being stored near the water edge and create a circle surrounding a tidal pool. The circle of rocks is found in many early cavitations in identifying spiritual places. This was accepted and I had the use of one of the machines and an operator to build it. I had also designed a pavilion, which was to incorporat the largest of the granite boulders.