Here are five things to know about artworks for the under construction Little Tokyo/Arts District Station.
The artworks aim to elevate the visual experience of the station for riders and connect the station to downtown communities. Artists were selected by a community-based panel, following extensive outreach and a competitive open call process.
Clare Rojas, Harmony – Entrance Pavilion
“The landscape is the great equalizer of humanity. Our cultural traditions are deeply shaped by the earth’s [daily] rotation around the sun, lunar tides, sunrise and sunset.” -Clare Rojas
- When a piece of the Zanja Madre – the original aqueduct that brought water to the Pueblo de Los Angeles from the Río Porciúncula (Los Angeles River) – was discovered at the station construction site, Rojas was inspired to relate the idea of water access and networks to the public transit system.
- The diagram of the lunar cycle represents how cultural traditions are shaped by the daily cycles of the earth’s rotations around the sun, lunar tides, sunrise, and sunset.
- Rojas uses organic and geometric forms to convey how the natural and built environments coexist in a “lyrical dance” according to the artist.
- The transparency of Rojas’s designs allows for sunlight to pass through the glass and cast bold colors and shapes onto the surrounding station environment.
- In 2019, Rojas invited artist Ramekon O’Arwisters to produce Crochet Jam, an event that took place at the Japanese American Community & Cultural Center. The participants brought fabrics that were personally meaningful and created a large, crochet artwork together, reflecting on the interconnectedness of downtown communities and future users of the station through collective art making.
Audrey Chan, Will Power Allegory – Platform Level
“Perseverance, collective struggle and storytelling are vital elements of a thriving community. The artwork will create a space to dream, to form mythologies from our experiences and layered cultural histories, desires.” – Audrey Chan
- Chan’s artwork, titled Will Power Allegory, expands the mural legacy left by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the 1930s through site-specific stories of people and places.
- Inspired by traditional Japanese Obon festivals, civil protests and parades, Chan invites viewers to “join” the procession of community figures across 14 art panels as they wait for their train to arrive at the station platform.
- Lifting up stories of the Little Tokyo, Arts District, Skid Row, Gabrielino-Tongva and Bronzeville communities, Chan boldly presents the triumphs and legacies of community struggle and resilience.
- The background of the artwork includes blue tones inspired by Japanese woodblock prints and incorporates digitally enlarged fibers of traditional Japanese kozo (mulberry bark) paper sourced locally.
- Chan spent over three years conducting archival research and in-person interviews during development of the artwork. In 2017 she led an interactive community workshop during the Nisei Week Festival in which she invited community members to dream of and draw figures and symbols that hold cultural significance to them.
Audrey Chan’s Meet the Artist event in collaboration with the Japanese American Community & Cultural Center (JACCC) Plaza. The workshop was held in conjunction with Nisei Week at JACCC activities in collaboration with Sustainable Little Tokyo.
About Metro Art:
Metro Art enhances the customer experience with innovative, award-winning visual and performing arts programming that encourages ridership and connects people, sites, and neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County. A diverse range of site-specific artworks is integrated into the growing Metro system, improving the visual quality of transit environments and creating a sense of place. From photography installations to onboard posters, art tours, and live performances, our multi-faceted arts programs add vibrancy and engage communities throughout Los Angeles.
Learn about other artworks in the Metro system at metro.net/art.