People in New Zealand’s Wellington woke up to a terrifying hand gazing at them from atop an art gallery building and many are not very sure how they feel about it. A five-metre tall sculpture of a hand with a face was flown in from the South Island via a helicopter and the sight left many people in the town and online talking about it.
The unusual artwork is called the ‘Quasi’ and is named after Quasimodo, the popular character in Victor Hugo’s 1831 iconic book ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’. The quirky artwork was originally made in 2016 and was designed by Melbourne-based artist Ronnie van Hout.
It was originally in the artist’s home town of Christchurch following the devastating 2011 earthquake. It is on loan to Wellington, where it will stand for the next three to four years, reported BBC News.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No—Quasi has landed! This morning, Ronnie van Hout’s Quasi was installed on our roof. Quasi is a joint project with Wellington Sculpture Trust, with support from Wellington City Council, Wellington Community Trust, and Richard Burrell. pic.twitter.com/9MaHc9gB71
— CityGalleryWgtn (@CityGalleryWgtn) August 18, 2019
Early morning handiwork pic.twitter.com/pXQNsME4im
— Sue Orr (@SueMOrr) August 18, 2019
The artwork got a wide range of responses online as well. While some dubbed it as “nightmarish” and “some hideous malevolent being” on social media, others were quite intrigued and thought it was nice and funny.
Nothin makes me smile more than imagining all these Wellington people looking at that big hand and thinking “no, I will not smile, that is not where a face goes, this is the art capitol, only WOW not big hand”
— Hamish Parkinson (@HungryPeachBoy) August 20, 2019
Wellington losing its collective mind about that sculpture is very weird for Christchurch folks right now. Ominous hand-people lurking atop buildings had soon become the “new normal” for us. pic.twitter.com/vt1kt7VFUk
— Dr. Curiosity 🚫🛫 All the conferences, too busy ☹ (@DrCuriosity) August 20, 2019
Well… this is the sort of thing nightmares are made of. This giant, creepy face hand is at Civic Square in Wellington, New Zealand. #Quasi #CivicSquare #Wellington #NZ #NewZealand #nightmarefuel pic.twitter.com/fFrzwqurmB
— Malissa Tormey (@MalissaTormey) August 20, 2019
Gotta give a hand to Wellington. We be bat shit crazy about weird art but we have our finger in the pulse.
We could have put a palm up on a building to seem tropical but we’ve come to grips with the fact the someone gave this the thumbs up!
Seriously, though. Sauron’s eye? 😧 pic.twitter.com/PIzFZxOZnk
— Troy Hammond (@TroyHammo) August 19, 2019
Looks like Wellington local body elections will be decided by who has the best plan for appeasing the cruel will of the hand.
— Dan Knox (@knoxdani) August 19, 2019
Reminds me of that classic phrase “Talk to the hand because the face is also on the hand.” pic.twitter.com/n7iRlajESk
— Tim Barnes (@TimBarnes451) August 19, 2019
Breaking: Wellington man pulls off most complicated fingerboard trick ever using giant hand and helicopter. pic.twitter.com/hLppKQkVJL
— Adam (@adamthomsonnz) August 19, 2019
Seen in Civic square Wellington. Does anyone know what the heck this is? pic.twitter.com/tnYiQs5C5U
— Dan (@dancrawfo) August 19, 2019
“The giant hybrid face-hand is based on scans of the artist’s own body parts,” the description of the artwork on the gallery’s website says. “It’s as if ‘the hand of the artist’ has developed a monstrous life of its own.”