Here are five things to know about the artworks for the new Grand Av Arts/Bunker Hill Station that is opening next week.
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.
Ann Hamilton, over-under-over – Entrance Pavilion
“Each line of the Metro system is one thread in the weave that holds the larger system together. In this part-to-whole, relationship, a piece of cloth similarly derives its strength when each thread does its part.” – Ann Hamilton
- Ann Hamilton was inspired by the station’s location and the surrounding hub of cultural institutions as a place of intersections and exchanges between people.
- The artwork captures the invisible paths and crossings of riders and makes them visible as hand-drawn “threads” in a pattern that wraps the elevators like a luminous translucent cloth.
- The lines, or “threads,” reference sky and water, light and line, pathways and architectural textiles.
- Hundreds of hand-drawn lines make up the entire composition creating the illusion of a larger pattern from afar.
- Hamilton’s artwork is the inaugural artwork for the rotating exhibition space on the façade of the Entrance Pavilion at Grand Ave/Bunker Hill Station.
Pearl C. Hsiung, High Prismatic – Concourse Wall Mosaic
“I’m interested in reflecting on the epic geological and anthropological histories of the station neighborhood.” – Pearl C. Hsiung
- The artwork evokes the never-ending evolution of Los Angeles and the surrounding Bunker Hill neighborhood: a dense area with a rich history of dramatic change that has emerged as a cultural destination.
- The erupting geyser at the center of the mural rises out of a rolling landscape toward a celestial expanse, giving visual form to the transformative energy that exists beneath the earth’s surface and within us.
- Hsiung used a variety of paint materials and techniques to create her design: stenciled spray paint, squeegeed automotive paint, flecks of metallic paint and drops of Japanese sumi ink.
- The saturated palette, variety of painting techniques and compositional approach in High Prismatic allude to the buried, exposed and still-forming stories of this aspirational arts space and vein of human movement and connectivity.
- Hsiung’s experience teaching youth and background as an avid transit rider led her to connect local arts organization Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) with the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Teen Program for an art-making workshop. Hsiung led students in hands-on art-making activities that explored personal uniqueness and connection to place in recognition of “highly prismatic” identities as well as demonstrating to students how they will be able to use Metro to visit arts and cultural institutions in downtown Los Angeles.
Mungo Thomson, Negative Space (STScI-2015-02) – Platform Level Porcelain Enamel Steel
“My work is broadly interested in backgrounds and in all the contextual information that we tune out and ignore but that nonetheless shapes perception” – Mungo Thomson
- Thomson’s goal is to mentally transport a transit rider to a space void as they wait to physically travel through an earth void––a subway tunnel. He does this by bringing the cosmos to the most unlikely setting––more than 100 feet underground.
- The artwork is a panoramic survey photo of the Andromeda (M31) galaxy using images from the Hubble Space Telescope composed of 7,398 exposures taken over 411 individual “pointings” of the telescope, assembled together into one image.
- The artwork inverts the color of images of the Andromeda galaxy. The original color becomes negative — and the negative becomes positive.
- Thomson’s inverted portrayal of the tiled photographs represents the opposite of outer space –– a void in the earth that is as far away from it as possible.
- To share the concepts of his artwork, Thomson facilitated a public conversation between a tunneling engineer and a Hubble Space Telescope expert via Zoom about the unlikely but real crossovers between geology and cosmology.
Samira Yamin, All Is Flux – Lightbox Exhibition Program
“Through the concept of fluid dynamics, I see a direct connection between the planning and engineering of all the various aspects of our cities, and the subjects they serve. The very same natural laws used to calculate the shapes of tunnels and trains are embodied in the lived experiences of the ridership, as individuals and as a whole.” – Samira Yamin
- Samira Yamin uses a photogram technique to capture the shadows of a stream of water moving across the surface of still water.
- The artwork visualizes a flow that moves from one of relative order, like water in a pipe, to one of apparent chaos like milk swirling in coffee.
- The artist compares the phenomena in the photos to riders moving through a transit system and dispersing into neighborhoods upon reaching their destination.
- The photogram that is the basis of All is Flux was made at School of Light, a photography school in downtown Los Angeles, under the guidance of the school’s founder Andrew Hall.
- Yamin’s body of work is the first to be part of the rotating exhibition space at Grand Av/Bunker Hill Station as part of the Metro Art Lightbox Exhibition Program.
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.
For future adventures and to learn about other artworks in the Metro system, visit metro.net/art