Unveiling “Sky Bridge” Public Art Installation
Portsmouth Square Pedestrian Bridge
750 Kearny St. (over Kearny St, connecting the Chinese Culture Center and Portsmouth Square)
Celebrating Central Subway coming to Chinatown:
International artist Beili Liu selected to create
Finale Art in Chinatown Landmark
San Francisco, CA- July 14, 2015 – The Chinese Culture Foundation (CCF) is pleased to announce, “Sky Bridge,” the finale for the Central Subway Temporary Art Project. The multi-year project, “Central Subway, Journey to Chinatown” is one of the first initiatives to bring public art to Chinatown, and celebrates the coming of the San Francisco Central Subway to the community, while transforming the public space. For the finale, celebrated international artist Beili Liu was selected to create the stunning installation piece, “Sky Bridge” to be unveiled to the public on August 1st. The art will be installed on the pedestrian bridge over Kearny Street, linking the Chinese Culture Center to Portsmouth Square, a landmark in Chinatown.
“’Sky Bridge’ will be the most amazing piece of public art in Chinatown,” Mabel Teng, executive director of Chinese Culture Foundation predicts. “The art piece not only represents the arrival of Central Subway, but the bringing of public art to Chinatown, and the coming together of the community. The finale is in many ways a journey. The community has fought hard for art, and for transportation in the neighborhood. We hope the public will join the community in the celebration and see this as the beginning of an art renaissance.”
The finale has been preceded by talented artists and writers such as Charlie Chin, Gold Mountain Poetry Society, Justin Hoover, Lauren Huang, Jon Jang, and Feng Jin. As part of the project, the artists were commissioned to create pieces that commemorate the Central Subway connecting Chinatown to the rest of the city, including SoMa and Union Square stations. Other works from the project can be seen in Wentworth Alley, Walter U Lum Place, and the Chinatown Music Festival.
“‘Sky Bridge’ marks another remarkable installation from Beili Liu and for San Francisco. I look forward to this transformation that will create a new spatial awareness, and subvert the perception of a familiar place,” Abby Chen, Artistic Director for the CCF.
“Each and every individual bricks is to be covered with mirror-reflective silver Mylar. The rhythmic, reflective grid will bring into it the sky and clouds above, the urban buildings and the Chinese gate. The transformed bridge becomes a river-like silver pathway,” the artist Beili Liu describes her new artwork.
The installation is also a highlight for the 50th anniversary of the Chinese Culture Foundation. The organization has begun its contemporary art directive in 2008, starting with Beili Liu as the selected artist for its new series, XianRui. The homecoming for Liu coincides with this celebration. Among the other celebrations for the 50th anniversary, a suite of summer festivals in July and August, and the opening of a new experimental space, 41 Ross. Central Subway Station is scheduled to open in 2019.
Ever since we started to install Sky Bridge, everyday is a new experience.
Sky Bridge is formed in 3 phases: the first phase is the art installation. In the early days of the installation (July 26-August 1), the silver mylar are flat, tidy, disciplined, and reached to perfection at the opening on August 1.
The second phase (second week and following weeks), with the interaction and intervention of visitors, pigeons, lion and dragon dancers, Taichi practitioners, dancers, runners, skateboarders, and most significantly, the wind every day, Sky Bridge is beginning to decay, or as the artist Beili Liu describes “disappeared pixels that reflect the natural occurrence of the foot path.”
The third phase is documenting and archiving the change on the bridge. Everyday, Chinese Culture Center staff records the change and conduct regular cleaning five days a week.
“From nothing to everything, then later back to nothing. Intense weather and intense labor then intense usage with intense wind. One work leads to multiple communities formation and interaction. This process has so far been amazing.” —- Curator and Artistic Director, Abby Chen.
Support for the Chinese Culture Foundation for the Central Subway Temporary Art Project by Central Subway, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco Arts Commission. General support for the CCF provided by Grants for the Arts, San Francisco Foundation. Community partners for the project are the Chinatown Community Development Center, Chinese Historical Society of America, and in collaboration with the Hilton hotel and other local businesses and merchants.
“Sky Bridge” August 3-31, 2015 Portsmouth Square Pedestrian Bridge 750 Kearny St. (between the Chinese Culture Center and Portsmouth Square) For more information, visit www.c-c-c.org Contact: Jenny Leung, [email protected]
About Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco:
Founded in 1965, the mission of the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco is to spark intercultural discovery through art, education, and engagement. The organization provides engaging experiences with contemporary art at the intersection of social justice and culture. A leader in the arts, the CCF is one of the few organizations in the country promoting artists of Asian descent at its Visual Art Center. Engaging a growing international and national audience through art exhibits and public art, the CCF has curated at Asian Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Miami Beach Urban Studios, and in Hangzhou and New York among other locations. CCF has also developed deep ties in the community through educational and engagement activities. Over 148,000 constituents engaged in CCF programming last year.
About Beili Liu:
Beili Liu is an internationally exhibited artist born in northeast China. She moved to the United States in 1995, where she now lives and works. She attended the University of Michigan and the University of Tennessee, and now is an associate professor in the department of art and art history at the University of Texas. She has had solo exhibitions at prestigious venues around the world and received numerous awards for both her art and her teaching.
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