Except he didn't get permission first.
Police impounded the sculpture. Later, though, amid public outcry, the city installed the piece two blocks away in Bowling Green Park, and it remains a tourist draw and an icon of Wall Street.
Kauk's piece is similarly a gift. Referencing the Japanese legend that anyone who makes 1,000 paper cranes will be granted a wish (popularized in Eleanor Coerr's Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes), it's a powerful symbolic tribute to a people in strife -- and it's a more tangible tribute, too. Attached to the cranes were bar-codes that would allow smartphone users to immediately access the Red Cross's donations site, along with number for text donations as well.
And both installations, of course, were not authorized.
Here's the big difference: Di Modica installed his piece in front of a stock exchange, whereas Kauk installed hers in front of an art museum. An appreciation of art is not something you would really expect from stockbrokers. From an art museum, though, it would seem that's exactly what you should expect.
At its most basic level, the concept of "unauthorized" art -- street art, happenings, graffiti, spontaneous installations -- serves two purposes: One, it's a form of artistic expression, and in that vein, Kauk's would seem to qualify as a considered one, an aesthetically sound commentary on a major social issue. Two, it's a form of rebellion against power structures, an assertion of individuality against the homogeneous backdrop of institutional efficiency.
A stock exchange, of course, is in a way the acme of that hegemony. But it's a damn shame that the art museum -- which is supposed to nurture and represent the artistic community -- is just as bad.