Get ready to do a double-take from the Bay Bridge this summer, because a monumental new sculpture will take up permanent residence on Yerba Buena Island in summer 2023. Japanese artist and architect Hiroshi Sugimoto designed Point of Infinity as a 69-foot-tall tapered sundial sculpture that rises to a miniscule point in the sky. It’s the first permanent sculpture commissioned for the Treasure Island Arts Program, which has many more public commissions on the way.
The sculpture is shaped like a giant cone rising to a nearly indiscernible needle-like point in the sky. It will measure 23 feet across at the base, which is composed of 8 concrete panels; and then transitions to a mirror-polished stainless steel material ending in a point measuring just 21 millimeters across.
“In the material world, it is physically impossible to make a point that reaches all the way to infinity,” said Sugimoto. “What I can do, however, is suggest infinity by making an approximate point that can exist in the material world as a mathematically modeled structure with a 21-millimeter-wide tip.”
In addition to its elegant and eye-catching shape, the sculpture also acts as an enormous sundial recalling Tower of the Sun from Treasure Island’s 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. The plaza surrounding the sculpture will include stone markers at the points of the noon shadows created during the spring and autumn equinoxes.
Sugimoto’s design was chosen from nearly 500 other submissions in a worldwide competition back in 2017. This is Sugimoto’s first large-scale sculpture in the United States, although he is internationally renowned for his multidisciplinary work bridging Eastern and Western ideologies.
Point of Infinity will be placed in one of two new parks on Yerba Buena Island on top of a decommissioned water tank, meaning it will be visible from many vantage points around the Bay. It’s the first of many more public art pieces planned for Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island, with the goal of creating a new world-class public art destination here in San Francisco.
Get ready for this unique new addition to SF’s skyline in summer 2023, and stay tuned as we await more details!