New Monumental Sculpture by Internationally Renowned Artist Hiroshi Sugimoto To Be Installed on Yerba Buena Island As Part of the Treasure Island Arts Program
Artwork scheduled for installation in Summer 2023
SAN FRANCISCO, March 1, 2023 – The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), in partnership with the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA), are pleased to announce the upcoming installation of the first permanent sculpture commissioned for the Treasure Island Arts Program by internationally renowned artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto.
The sculpture, titled Point of Infinity, will be placed on top of Yerba Buena Island in summer 2023. This artwork marks Sugimoto’s first large scale public sculpture to be installed in the United States and the first of many public commissions that will be presented as part of the Treasure Island Arts Program.
“The concept of infinity is a human invention. The point of infinity is a paradox, but should it exist in the natural world, it must be in a faraway place beyond the edge of the universe, or maybe it is no more than an illusion born inside the human brain. Nonetheless, ever since its birth, the human race has persisted in seeing this illusion. We call it art.” explained artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. “The form of the sculpture is created from two converging hyperbolic curves that get closer and closer but never meet. In the material world, it is physically impossible to make a point that reaches all the way to infinity. What I can do, however, is suggest infinity by making an approximate point that can exist in the material world as a mathematically modeled structure with a 21-millimeter-wide tip.”
Starting at a width of 23 feet at the base, the sculpture rises to a height 69 feet (21 meters) and tapers to a diameter of 7/8 inch (21 millimeters). Eight glass fiber reinforced concrete panels compose the base of the sculpture to a height of 18 ½ feet, and then seamlessly transition to mirror-polished marine grade 316 stainless steel that rises another 50 ½ feet.
The sculpture acts as a monumental sundial, evoking the Tower of the Sun sculpture from the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island. A stone marker will be placed in the plaza to mark the precise location of the noon shadow on the spring and autumnal equinoxes. While referencing the grandeur and innovation of the 1939 World’s Fair, Sugimoto’s sculpture is an elegant and contemplative reflection on the concept of time and humanity.
“The San Francisco Arts Commission is thrilled to have worked closely with Hiroshi Sugimoto, the Treasure Island Development Authority and the Treasure Island Community Development to bring this monumental installation to San Francisco and launch an historic new era for public art in San Francisco,” said Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs. “Point of Infinity is the first of many public art installations that will transform Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island into a world class public art destination. I look forward to all the incredible works that will come as a result of this ongoing partnership.”
“The Sugimoto sculpture is an important inaugural work to implement a vision that incorporates art into Treasure Island’s 300 acres of public parks and open space,” said V. Fei Tsen, President of the TIDA Board. “Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island have a spectacular position in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. Our intention is to create an experience that marries art with nature."
Point of Infinity will be situated in one of two new hilltop parks totaling 5.4- acres designed by MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant recipient Walter Hood of Hood Design Studio Inc. The park is located on the westernmost peak of Yerba Buena Island with sweeping, 360-degree views of the San Francisco skyline, San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, Clipper Cove Beach, Golden Gate Bridge, and greater Bay Area. The public park serves as a centerpiece of the community as well as a cultural and ecological arboretum, revealing layers of history, and sits upon the foundations of a decommissioned water tank that has been transformed into a scenic overlook. The sculpture is located on top of the former water tank and will be a beacon for people around the Bay Area and visible from many vantage points including the Bay Bridge and San Francisco.
“We are incredibly pleased that Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Point of Infinity will be the first monumental sculpture created under the Treasure Island Arts Master Plan. Sugimoto is one of the most important artists working in the world today, and his thoughtful meditation on time and place will elevate the public realm at Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island,” said Chris Meany, Co-CEO of the Treasure Island Community Development and Managing Partner of Wilson Meany. “We sincerely thank Hiroshi for his amazing work, Walter Hood for creating the park in which the sculpture will sit, and the San Francisco Arts Commission and Fraenkel Gallery for their support of this incredible effort.”
The artist was selected from a public competition in 2017 that received submissions from 495 artists from around the world. The new hilltop park was established as one of the first major artwork opportunities in the Treasure Island Arts Master Plan that was developed in June 2017 and guides the implementation of a projected $50 million in public art funds generated by Treasure Island private development over the next 20 years.
“In the competition proposals, it was evident that this specific location resonated with the artist and inspired this work, and we are very gratified that the first piece in the Treasure Island Art Program will be such an original, thoughtful, and iconic piece,” stated Bob Beck, Treasure Island Director.
About the Artist
Born in 1948 in Tokyo, Japan, Hiroshi Sugimoto moved to the United States in 1970 and since then, has lived and worked in New York and Tokyo. As a multi-disciplinary artist, Sugimoto’s practice expands to photography, sculpture, installation, architecture, garden design, writing, calligraphy, culinary arts, and the production and direction of performing arts programs. Sugimoto’s art bridges Eastern and Western ideologies while examining the nature of time, perception, and the origins of consciousness. His photographic series include Dioramas, Theaters, Seascapes, Architecture, Portraits, Conceptual Forms, Lightning Fields, and Opticks among others.
In 2008 he established the architecture firm New Material Research Laboratory and in 2009 he founded Odawara Art Foundation, a charitable nonprofit organization to promote traditional Japanese performing arts and culture. Sugimoto also established KANKITSUZAN, an agricultural foundation in 2011 to explore and maintain a symbiotic relationship between Nature and Human, adjacent to the Enoura Observatory.
Sugimoto’s artworks have been exhibited around the world and are in numerous public collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden among others.
About the San Francisco Arts Commission
The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment, and shaping innovative cultural policy. Our programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Investments, Public Art, SFAC Galleries, and Art Vendor Licensing. To learn more about the agency and other public art opportunities, visit sfartscommission.org.
About Treasure Island Development Authority
The Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) is the public entity that is overseeing the implementation of the Master Plan for the redevelopment of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island. As a part of the master plan, Treasure Island and neighboring Yerba Buena Island are being transformed into a new, environmentally sustainable, 21st-century San Francisco neighborhood featuring 8,000 new homes – including approximately 2,200 permanently affordable homes – and new restaurants and shops. Located in the middle of San Francisco Bay and featuring 300 acres of parks, trails and open space, public art installations, and exciting events, this visionary redevelopment will be a regional recreational destination as well as a reimagined neighborhood. More information is available at sf.gov/TIDA.
About Treasure Island Community Development
Treasure Island Community Development (TICD) is the master developer for Treasure Island — a partnership of Stockbridge Capital Group, Wilson Meany, and Lennar Corp. Learn more about Treasure Island at TISF.com and Yerba Buena Island at YerbaBuenaIslandSF.com.
About Wilson Meany
Wilson Meany is a boutique San Francisco-based developer of mixed-use, residential, retail, office and master plan urban infill properties. Among Wilson Meany’s signature projects are the historic San Francisco Ferry Building, the Art Deco icon of 140 New Montgomery, the massive Bay Meadows redevelopment and the former Hollywood Park racetrack. Visit wilsonmeany.com to learn more.
Learn more about the Treasure Island Arts Program