By Jill Colvin
MIDTOWN — Times Square may be filled with flocks of tourists. But sheep?
Starting next week, the Crossroads of the World will be getting a dose of the countryside when two dozen paper sculptures of the barnyard animals move into the square.
The installation, called "Counting Sheep," will feature 24 hand-made paper sheep spread across more than 400 square feet of the northern end of the Broadway pedestrian plaza between West 45th and West 46th streets.
The sheep will be displayed on 6 to 16 inch-high platforms and will be protected by a foot-tall fence, according to the Times Square Alliance, which is organizing the show in partnership with the West Harlem Art Fund.
Artist Kyu Seok Oh said that he hopes the sheep, which were all made by hand in his Brooklyn studio, will help people escape from the chaos of the square.
"A group of white paper sheep suddenly emerging from a corner of Times Square will create a contrast to the intimidating, chaotic atmosphere associated with that sleepless corner of the world," Oh said in a statement. "Soft, white, and standing together these sheep will invite the neon covered surrounding buildings and large excited crowds to relax, count sheep, and doze off a little," he said.
The sheep will be unveiled Tues. March 1 at 11 a.m. and remain on display through March 11.
"They’re kind of amazingly made," said Glenn Weiss, the director of the public art program at the alliance. "I’ve never seen anyone do those things."
The group had concerns that the sheep might not be able to brave the elements over the course of the exhibition. But Weiss said a test sheep managed to survive two weeks outside Oh’s studio.
The sheep exhibit will also coincide with a second installation at West 46th Street and Broadway featuring works by Tom Otterness, the man behind the curious creatures that dot many city subway stations, Grimanesa Amoros, David Kennedy Cutler and Niki de Saint Phalle that will last through March 7.