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Songpa Streetlamp to Immortalise 20-year Sister City Relationship

A unique and symbolic streetlamp from Songpa-gu, Korea will be installed and unveiled on 29 November 2014 as part of Mischa Kuball’s Solidarity Grid in Christchurch.

Images of the Songpa streetlamp are courtesy of SCAPE.

This Songpa streetlamp has been donated by Songpa-gu, not only as a gesture of solidarity during our recovery and rebuild process, but as recognition of 20 years of the Christchurch Songpa-gu Sister City relationship.

Mischa Kuball’s Solidarity Grid is a legacy art project commissioned by the Christchurch City Council’s Public Art Advisory Group and produced by SCAPE Public Art over a period of three years, which began during the SCAPE 7 Public Art Christchurch Biennial in 2013.

Solidarity Grid is based on the act of giving and the positive symbolism of light. The project will bring a single streetlamp from each of 21 cities around the world to Christchurch, by the end of 2015.

Each lamp has a very different look reflective of its donor city which makes an exciting, explorative trail along Park Terrace for cyclists and pedestrians. The lamps are donated by cities as a gesture of solidarity during our recovery and rebuild process.

To date, nine streetlamps have been installed - from our sister cities of Adelaide, Australia; Kurashiki, Japan; Wuhan, China as well as Düsseldorf, Germany; Sydney, Australia; Belgrade, Serbia; Sendai, Japan; Montreal, Canada; and Mexico City, Mexico,  with Songpa’s light to become the tenth streetlamp in place.

SCAPE Public Art Director Deborah McCormick says “It’s wonderful to witness the steady instalment of Solidarity Grid lamps along Park Terrace, in the midst of the city’s rebuilding process. There is a real collection of them now, which makes for a fascinating walk along the northern edge of Hagley Park as each one offers unique insight into its city’s culture. The Songpa lamp is another example of the global generosity towards Christchurch which we are thankful for, and will be a permanent symbol of the Sister City relationship between our two cities”.

Songpa-gu, one of 25 autonomous districts of Seoul, is located in south-eastern Seoul and has a population of 610,000. It is known both as a “City of Culture” for its many sculptures, traditional and modern performances, and musicals; and as a “City of Water” as it is surrounded by four streams; the Han River, the redeveloped Seongnaecheon stream, Jangji stream and Tan stream, the city centre also features the Seokchon Lake which provides a lush green, peaceful environment. 

On 10 February 1995, Christchurch and Songpa-gu officially became Sister Cities, after the idea was suggested by New Zealand’s Honorary Consul to Korea, Clyde Sugden during a visit to Songpa in 1993. This Songpa streetlamp unveiling on 29 November 2014, will mark 20 years of the Sister City relationship between Christchurch and Songpa-gu.

A delegation from Songpa-gu will attend the ceremony, including the City of Songpa-gu Mayor Park Choon-Hee, who will unveil the streetlamp’s commemorative plaque with Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel. During her Christchurch visit, Mayor Park will also be attending Korea Day 2014 celebrations in Cathedral Square on Saturday, 29th, as well as meeting with various groups and individuals who have been involved in or are looking at setting up exchanges with Songpa-gu in the future.

The Mayor of Christchurch, Lianne Dalziel, is pleased to be attending the Songpa lamp unveiling ceremony and believes the Christchurch Songpa-gu relationship is an important one. 

“This Songpa street lamp will be a tangible reminder of the special relationship between our two cities. Whether you’re walking around Hagley Park or driving along Park Terrace, the lamps from our sister cities and other friends present a unique trail of lights for us all to enjoy,” she says.

The public are welcome to attend the Songpa-gu streetlamp unveiling ceremony, which will be held on Saturday 29 November, 3.45pm for a 4:00pm start, concluding at 5:00pm. The ceremony will take place inside Hagley Park, across the river from the Songpa streetlamp, which is located on Park Terrace, between Peterborough and Kilmore Streets.

Updated on 23rd July 2015