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August 20, 2014

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From dusk till dawn, Suzhou Creek sculpture is a no-go zone for locals

Authorities in Changning District are considering modifying a “spooky” sculpture after receiving complaints from locals that it gives them nightmares.

Created by sculptor Yang Jinsong, the artwork was inspired by a photograph taken in the 1960s of workers at the former No. 21 Cotton Mill, close to Suzhou Creek.

The metal structure features a group of nine women and was erected last year at the intersection of Changning and Jinping Roads, where the mill once stood.

“The sculpture was put up to remind people of the history of the local area,” said Ma Ji, head of the landscape sculpture division at the district planning office, Youth Daily reported yesterday.

But according to a local resident surnamed Li, the piece looks like “two rows of people without heads.”

“It scared me into a cold sweat,” she said, recalling the first time she saw it — from a bus on her way home.

That night she was unable to sleep and felt better only after seeing it in the light (with her husband) the following day.

Another woman, surnamed Zhao, said her 3-year-old grandson was frightened to tears after seeing the ghostly women on a walk at dusk.

Ma, however, said the artwork is very popular, with lots of people taking photographs of it during that day.

“Many former textile workers said they love the sculpture, as it shows them as they were when they worked at the mill,” he said.

The problem comes at night, when the fading light gives the human forms a ghostly aura and makes them appear headless.

Local woman Wang said she was “freaked out” when she first saw the piece.

“Now, whenever I go past it on the bus, I close my eyes. But I can still see the images in my mind,” she said.

The district government will contact the artist to see what can be done to resolve the issue, according to Ma.


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