The installation of Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s new sculpture "Point of Infinity” was completed this week on a hilltop on Yerba Buena Island, and it will act as a sundial so tall that the Federal Aviation Administration had to sign off on it.
You may be following the saga of the massive housing development projects on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island, which aspire to house as many as 20,000 people. And if you’re following that saga, you know that the developers are suing each other, which certainly clouds those projects’ near-term future.
But other entities are still proceeding with adding new infrastructure and attractions to try to make theses islands an eventual destination. And to that end, the New York Times reports today that a new 69-foot stainless steel sundial called "Point of Infinity” was installed there this week, a work by the sculptor, photographer, and multimedia artist Hiroshi Sugimoto.
There's a new addition to the San Francisco skyline. The Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto has planted a 69-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture on a hilltop in Yerba Buena Island. "Point of Infinity" is meant to serve a beacon for a new public art program. https://t.co/oe2lDlWLuk pic.twitter.com/vzVfy7VAt4— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 9, 2023
"The infinity point, where two curved lines are supposed to meet, only exists in the human mind; it’s a creation of human consciousness,” Sugimoto told the Times. "I wished to make it reach all the way to infinity, but that’s technically impossible."
While the sculpture is on a hilltop on Yerba Buena Island, it was developed and commissioned under the Treasure Island Art Program run by the San Francisco Arts Commission. The commission pegs the cost of the work at a $2 million cost, its 29 sections were fabricated in Japan, and shipped to Oakland in eight different containers before the work was put together on Yerba Buena Island.
The next time you’re on #YerbaBuenaIsland in SF, drop by “Point of Infiintiy”, the first large-scale public sculpture installation by renowned Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. This 69-foot tapered conical sundial is a special collaboration between Sugimoto, @SFAC, and @SFTIDA. pic.twitter.com/UkV6QB7sjS— Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco (@JAPANinSF) June 7, 2023
"Point of Infinity” acts as a sundial, though without hour markings, and the Times adds that “Sugimoto will place a granite marker on the ground to align with the shadow cast by the artwork at solar noon on days of the spring and fall equinox.” According to Secret San Francisco, the base is 23 feet across, and the tip of the spire is just 21 millimeters across
The Times also points out that “A ring of white gravel surrounds the sculpture to prevent it from becoming a skateboarding ramp.”
The sundial is a reference to another sundial that had been built there for the 1939 World’s Fair event, the Golden Gate International Exposition. There are a few other remaining works of art from that fair on the Treasure Island side, like the one above.
Completed yesterday!— Nobi Hayashi 林信行 (@nobi) June 8, 2023
Opening very soon!
Point of Infinity
| Hiroshi Sugimoto 杉本博司
@ Yerba Buena Island
(Supported by Treasure Island Development Authority + San Francisco Arts Commission)
thx: @hokayan for info@cfarivar for ride pic.twitter.com/wAQxaPqEsR
We should note that while this work is largely completed, it will not be open to the public until at least the fall. But you can still see it. The Art Newspaper adds that it’s visible from several points in San Francisco and the Bay Bridge. That site also reports that curiously, the piece is so tall that it “required clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration."
And when "Point of Infinity” does open to the public, remember there’s a new I-80 off-ramp at Yerba Buena Island, though it only has bike access from the Oakland side.
Image: SF Arts Commission