Offsite ProjectJuly 10, 2013–April 30, 2014
Jen Liu: Melon Mysticism for Everyone
The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), together with the NYC Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Urban Art Program, are pleased to present Jen Liu’s Melon Mysticism for Everyone, five photographic vinyl banners located along the Manhattan Bridge bike fence on Forsyth Street between Canal and Division streets in Manhattan. The banner series will be on display for a period of 11 months.
The five banners feature a watermelon that has been carved into a mandala pattern, being eaten by a series of animals: a goat, sheep, horse, and chicken. Chinatown food markets and the diverse neighborhood located around the Manhattan Bridge brought Liu to reflect on the ideas of unity and community, and the communal eating of watermelon by the animals acts as a humorous metaphor for the functional cohesion of immigrant communities in New York City. The artist notes, “the diverse community that exists in the Chinatown markets is not an abstraction, but something informal, messy and full of life.”
This project is being produced through the pARTners track of the DOT Urban Art Program and is the third collaboration between the agency and the International Studio & Curatorial Program.
NYC DOT Urban Art Program:
Launched in October 2008, DOT’s Urban Art Program invigorates the city’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. It partners with community-based organizations and artists to present murals, sculptures, projections, and performances on plazas, fences, barriers, bridges, and sidewalks for up to 11 months. Projects are presented within three program tracks: pARTners, Barrier Beautification, and Arterventions.