LIVING ART: The “Ring Stone” Sculpture at MIT

Roughly twelve years ago, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang (designer of the fireworks displays at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing) created a sculpture for the new Sloan Finance Building at MIT in Cambridge, MA. The finished project, “Ring Stone”, is a chain carved from granite.

To complete the project, he envisioned pines growing up through the links of the chain. But finding pine trees small enough to fit into the tiny openings and healthy enough to survive in the restricted space was more difficult than he imagined. That is, until one of his associates discovered Hanselman Landscape. And, as they say, the rest is history (and a story for another day)!

Photos below show the pine planting process and artist, Cai Guo-Qiang with James Hanselman. Also shown is bonsai master, Jim Doyle, whose expertise in bonsai informed the pruning of the pine roots, enabling them to fit into the limited space inside the granite links. Finally, Hanselman Landscape’s Sean Kramer is pictured on one of his curating visits to tend the pines in MIT’s “Ring Stone” sculpture.

Joyfully shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener’s wife (& living art enthusiast)