Creating the Works | See the video
The first piece of artwork for the Garden of Surging Waves came in the way of a gift from Huo Bao Zhu, a Chinese businessman who believes he owes a debt of gratitute to the United States after a Portland physician treated him for a rare form of leukemia, when his doctor in China had given him only two years to live.
Huo's gift is a six-and-a-half-foot-tall bronze sculpture of a man calming a dragon with one hand while holding up a huge incense burner with the other. The piece is inspired by a Western Han Dynasty miniature incense burner from 204 B.C. The gifted bronze sculpture is valued at $45,000. Huo donated a six-ton bronze elephant statue to Portland in 2002 in a similar gesture of gratitude.
Suenn Ho, the designer for the Garden of Surging Waves, later contracted with Huo's foundry, Shaanxi Yuan Kun Sculptural Arts Company, in China to produce other artworks – some 14 tons in all – for the Garden of Surging Waves.