Roots--interwoven Mosaic

Jan. 2005

MTA Battery Park Sation New York

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The area of Battery Park is overwhelmingly imbued with unique historical and multi-layered meanings. My interpretation focuses on the idea of roots and routes that are pieced together by an interwoven personal message.

The proposed glass relief sculpture contains thousands of personal images working together, creating a form of visual abstraction. Through my artwork, my message is that individuality can only exist within the fabric of others. Our own differences are distinguished from others, while we are also the combination of infinite beauty of ambiguity.

My design treats the architectural site as the inspiration for the artwork. This proposal tries to modify a specific architectural space with a maximum impact of architectural possibility. However, I am well aware of the issues involved in design for heavily utilized public spaces.

Project Narrative

ROOTS—interwoven mosaic—A glass mosaic relief sculpture
Roots is a glass relief sculpture using the image of roots of trees. It is located in the first layer of the underground space in the Battery Park subway station. It suggests underground roots that are revealed in a slide-open-space, as people walk down into the station. The sculpture will be built with thousands of 3 x 4” pieces of colored glass (approximate scale) with portraits that are silk-screened and slumped onto each piece. The collective assemblage of pieces creates a skin of mosaic glass, covering a supportive metal structure. The source of the images will be taken from, 1.Historical Archives of the past, 2.NYC subway commuters of the present.  All the images will be unified with the use of monochromatic color. These images will be used as my color pallet to create the sculpture.

My modified plan will include the 70’wall, with extensions from both sides. Using the art wall as its center, the sculpture will run continuously, in a wave like composition. Moving in a horizontal direction, making reference to traditional Chinese scroll painting. It will create the pedestrian’s experience of moving through shifting time and space.

The design proposal takes advantage of the space of the stairs and the elevator. The sculpture breaks the boundary of spatial layers and wraps around the opening section of “ground-ceiling” space. The sculpture will be visible from different floors and angles. The curved wall (either translucent glass or glass block) will be used as canvas to attach or to etch typographic images, making a multi-language pattern, suggesting again smaller roots and vines. The words used in the design can be, for example “Roots” or “Manifest Destiny”.

My proposal suggests an overlapping text design to be used in the fabrication of the metal gates on both sides of token machines. My last suggestion for this proposal includes placing the lighting elements behind the artwork and the glass.