Among some of Berlin’s many streets and parks, there is a variety of different sculptures in various artistic style, made from various materials. Within Treptower Park, in the south-east of the city, an obscure and almost futuristic sculpture by Achim Kühn lives and breathes with the surrounding nature and weather. Klingende Blume, or the ‘sounding flower’, is a wind chime that mimics the movements of flora.
Achim Kühn has many known trades, however, most notably in metalwork and blacksmithing. His installation within Treptower Park was created in 1985 in a family-owned workshop in Berlin. This workshop has been passed down through generations along with the family trade of metalwork, both Achim’s father and grandfather worked in this industry and both created iconic pieces throughout Germany.
Treptower Park has remained one of the larger areas in the city of Berlin, previously hosting trade fairs, protests and political rallies. In 1949, construction began on a memorial to the Red Army soldiers lost during the Battle for Berlin at the end of World War II. Since then the park has become home to many tourists viewing the magnificent memorial, enjoying the wide-open green spaces and flower gardens, as well as commuters using the many cycle lanes and pathways through an alternative area of the city.
The art installation essentially works as a wind chime, reacting and moving with the changing air flows. The central stalks collide together to create different tones and noises, the petals of the flower bringing the stalks back to the centre. Mimicking the movements of a real flower, the metal sculpture contrasts flora in both its enormous scale and the heavy, rigid materials it is made from.
Since the creation of the piece in the mid-eighties, it has been a welcoming sight to those travelling through the nearby S Treptower Park train station as well as the many workers, tourists and citizens spending time in the park. The structure of this installation reflects the nature around it, however, through a completely different method of movement, its size and weight creating a massive divide despite its similar appearance.