Adagio by Cynthia Sah ’71, Alumna Sculptor
Michelangelo, the great Renaissance artist, said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” For Cynthia Sah ’71, marble is her favorite medium. “If you don’t have a passion for working with marble, you just can’t do it…If you really understand it, it’s really like cutting into butter.”
Cynthia returned to TAS in March to share her work with a large group of students. During her presentation, she showed photos of her creations displayed around the world in parks, museums, and corporate buildings. She also played a video of how her studio uses computers to carve out the forms from marble quarries, and going through the steps of producing a final product with a smooth finishing. She hoped to stimulate student interest in sculpture and to bring a special awareness and sensitivity to each other and to the world.
Ten years ago, she donated a piece of her marble art work to TAS and it is prominently exhibited outside of the middle school library. The piece is called Adagio, which is a musical term describing a slow tempo. As an artist, Cynthia pondered how to use marble to express abstract concepts such as the passing of time. Her final product is one with soft curves and allows a viewer to trace its lines. She believes that public art should be welcoming and she invites her viewers to touch and interact with her art. She said marble has a unique quality that naturally draws people forward to reach out and feel the surface. Her work is exhibited in many places around the world, including museums and public areas in Taiwan. She has received numerous commissions by corporations to execute large scale bronze and marble pieces, many of which are in private collections.
She reflected on her years at TAS, “There were many intellectually stimulating discussions and debates on world problems, especially issues related to the Vietnam War, because there were many military dependents at the school. The experience of going to an American school in Taiwan trained me to be more adaptable and allowed me to assimilate more easily in a new environment, which I realized after I moved to Italy and had to learn a new language. TAS alumni also seem to have a curiosity for the world and always enjoy going to the local places.”
For Cynthia, her biggest joy is waking up every day excited to work on her sculptures, bringing life to a hard piece of marble.
Visit her website at http://www.cynthiasah.it/
Reference: Cheng, Scarlet. "Cynthia Sah: The Power of Marble." World & I 8.10 (1933): 130. Print.