Success and prosperity are reflected in crystal
For two years now Michael Hammers has been working on a large-scale project in Beijing, in again one of the centers of culturel heritage and today’s global business. It is close to finalisation and in the middle of August, just in a few more weeks, Beijing’s new World Financial Center will see its opening ceremony and Michael finally touching his Crystal Wall.
It’s the premiere that one of Michael Hammers’ artistic visions and designs get realised in Asia. “Being commissioned by the Henderson Group with fulfilling the vision of a crystal wall for their World Financial Center Beijing is a great honour for me and, at the same time, it is an acknowledgement of all that I have created up to now” thus one of Michael’s official statements. And here is another one: “The enticing sparkling brilliance playing with light, the centuries-old, all-embracing fantasies of purity and truth, of success and prosperity are reflected in perfectly cut crystal. WFC’s Crystal Wall oversizes this in scale fitting into an architectural space.”
“If you can make it there, …”
The project started in 2007 the way Michael always tells how his projects start: “I got a call. That’s it!” So let us believe that if he wants us to.
Michael Hammers’ name is indelibly linked with outstanding artworks at “30 Rock”, the heart of Rockefeller Center New York City. „If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” isn’t that a saying people know around the globe, summing up the feeling about the Big Apple: competition is intense, but success there is richly rewarded and very satisfying. In New York City you can’t expect a handout, but you have an opportunity to succeed no matter who you are! Its ‘ up ‘ to ‘ you ‘ New ‘ York ... hey, do you hear Frank Sinatra singing right now … I do.
After working in midtown Manhattan for months, directing and finalizing his installations at Rockefeller Center for the New Yorkers he mentioned, he became one of them.
“I want to learn from the others”
For him personally, going to China now meant to challenge with his vision and demands, and to culturally adventure. But it seems that exactly then nothing can hold Michael up.
He had no idea what to expect flying over being asked to instruct Chinese artisans and workers to execute his design vision. “I feel so blessed that it immediately was given to me to make friends” is what Michael says first before starting to tell stories and stories about all his new experiences.
Meanwhile, Michael adores Chinese tradition and rich culture and way of life and his Chinese friend Ni Lingling offered Michael a Chinese name that he then adopted: 司马瀚, Sīmǎ Hàn. The characters literally stand for “leader–horse”, a double second name and, “as wide as the sea”, the first name. What a huge compliment.
“The true challenge for me was finding a way to encourage, to convince everybody that I am looking for nothing less than a true collaboration, that I honestly want to learn from the others too, learn about their artistic feelings and skills and together defining the way to go to bring my dream into being: “有志者，事竟成.”
You can’t read Chinese characters?
But he’s working hard to being able to pronounce a poem at the “final touch ceremony”, in Mandarin.