The Story Behind the Charging Bull Statue on the Bund

By Ned Kelly, December 19, 2020

0 0

Seen by many as a middle finger to the West – and the US in particular – the Bund’s ‘Charging Bull’ has become a popular attraction on Shanghai’s iconic Bund waterfront. At 5.2-meters long, 3.2-meters high and a whopping 2.5 tons in weight, it is almost identical to the original Wall Street Bull on which it is based – only “redder, younger and stronger,” according to the artist of both, Arturo Di Modica.

Designed to represent the growing virulence and power of China’s economy, it was unveiled on May 15, 2010, after the global financial crisis and just ahead of Shanghai’s Expo extravaganza, in a boast that the country was immune to the economic woes of the rest of the world.

bull3.jpg

Today, crowds flock to the site to grab a handful of the sculpture’s testicles, the rubbing of which is thought to bring good fortune. Other popular uses for the creature include hanging bags on its horns and riding it like a rodeo bronco.

Di Modica’s original bovine was given as a Christmas present to the City of New York following the stock market crash of 1987 as a symbol of the aggression, strength and energy of the financial system. At the time, the artist was an unknown, who funded the piece by selling his farm in Sicily.

Trucking it to the middle of Broad Street, he deposited the beast, guerrilla style, under a 60-foot Christmas tree on December 15, 1989. It was later impounded by authorities but returned to a nearby location following protests from the public and claims the removal had adversely affected the stock market.

Having capitalized extensively off the back of his first bull, Di Modica was sufficiently rich to nonchalantly give Shanghai its own beast for free without batting an eyelid.

bull.jpg


For more on Shanghai's statues and sculptures, click hereFor more history stories, click here.

[All images by Nicky Almasy]

more news

This Day in History: Google Announces Exit from China Market

Google's China-based google.cn search webpage, launched in 2006, had a turbulent time operating on the Chinese mainland.

Christkindlmarkt on the Bund 2020 is Back & Bigger than Ever!

The mulled wine and rum punch will be flowing at the traditional German style market.

This Day in History: Massive Haiyuan Earthquake Devastates Gansu

Statistics released in 2010 show at least 273,400 were killed by the earthquake in Gansu, with Haiyuan losing 73,604 people, nearly half of the county’s entire population.

So Much Good Stuff Going On at the Christkindlmarkt on the Bund!

The famous German Christmas Market is only a few days away!

This Day in History: Nelson Mandela's Changing Relationship with China

South African leader's close links with the Middle Kingdom.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives