New Monumental Sculpture by Internationally Renowned Artist Hiroshi Sugimoto Installed on Yerba Buena Island
“Point of Infinity: Surface of Revolution with Constant Negative Curvature” is the first of many public art installations being commissioned for the Treasure Island Arts Program.
SAN FRANCISCO, June 12, 2023 – The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), in partnership with the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA), are pleased to announce the completed 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: Surface of Revolution with Constant Negative Curvature, was installed on top of Yerba Buena Island in May 2023. A public unveiling and ribbon cutting celebration for the new park that is currently under construction is anticipated to take place in late 2023.
This artwork is Sugimoto’s first large scale public sculpture installation in the United States and the first of many public commissions that will be presented as part of the Treasure Island Arts Program.
“I envisioned a sculpture based on the mathematical formula for a surface of revolution with constant negative curvature. A hyperbolic curve that suggests both infinity and eternity: two converging curved lines, getting closer and closer but never meeting,” said Hiroshi Sugimoto. “The concept of infinity is a human invention. It is a paradox. Nonetheless, we pursue it. It is symbolic of humankind’s pursuit of knowledge and innovation. I know, it sounds very optimistic…”
The sculpture’s shape is expressed by the following cubic function:
"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."
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 congratulates Hiroshi Sugimoto, the Treasure Island Development Authority and the Treasure Island Community Development on the successful installation of this monumental sculpture,” said Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs. “Point of Infinity is the first of many public art installations that will help transform Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island into a world class and international destination for the arts.”
Point of Infinity is 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.
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.
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.
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