Proposal for a pop-up park near the Flatiron Building

In front of Manhattan’s Flatiron Building is an unused, triangular spit of land bordered by three major streets: Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and 23rd Street. Every day, thousands of pedestrians pass and cars through this central intersection. This underutilized space with traffic on all sides could become a vibrant, public square. This park should reflect and respond to the dynamic and energetic neighborhood.
Pop-up Park creates a mixed-use public space that responds to users. Narrow metal panels measuring three by five meters roll out of a wedge-shaped storage container. Each panel serves a different function: bleachers, benches, bookshelf, public mural, basketball hoop, etc. When in use, the panels are alternated to adapt to multiple uses. When not in use, the panels slide back into their container, leaving an open communal space. The dimensions of each panel correspond to the perfect shape of the golden rectangle. This permits a functional yet aesthetic geometric composition to be incorporated into each panel. The park’s periphery is planted with trees to shade the communal area and to act as a visual buffer from the hectic city.

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urban park 1

urban park 2

South Bronx

View more artwork like this about my experiences walking in New York City.

Strolling in the Bronx, I am arrested by the inner-city grid that stretches mile after mile. Block after block, street after street, a never ending treadmill of bodegas, tenements, hair salons, C-TOWN supermarkets, strip malls, and laundries. In the treadmill of the city grid, I become an explorer lost wandering. I retrace my footsteps.
And then, there is the ceaseless cacophony of Spanish speakers, buses, and car. The chaotic maze of streets leads me to fantasize walking through one of M.C. Escher’s drawings of a geometric maze. The blaring signage for SHOES, SHIRTS, PIZZA, and ICE CREAM hints at shabby decadence. The never-too-distant fast-food joint hints at obesity in a relative food desert. The din of distant cars on the Cross Bronx or Major Deegan hint at the childhood asthma that I, too, had. I immerse myself in the urban grid.
After many hours, I spy an elevated subway stop in the distance. I take the next southbound train back to Manhattan. I must return to the Bronx soon. The outer boroughs beckon.

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When dinosaurs take over New York City at night

In the New York City of my imagination, dinosaurs emerge from the Museum of Natural History to prowl “the city that never sleeps.” They roam the streets engaging in dinosaur-like activities: scaring people, stealing from butcher shops, and terrorizing the skyline. For one night, the city belongs to them.

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New York City in Miniature

The impressive range New York’s architecture, from the humblest home to the slenderest tower, powers my inspiration to create. I aim to capture my perceptions of the bustling city through art.
With a base measuring 28 by 36 inches, I built this model in summer 2014 of wood, paper, and plastic. It contains several dozen of the city’s landmarks, skyscrapers, people, lampposts, subway stations, and a bevy of operating subway cars. Whenever I glance at my tiny creation, I rejoice in knowing that my love of New York is within the breadth of my arms.

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Animation of New York City in miniature

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Animation of one day in the New York City subway

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The chaotic city passes me when riding the NYC subway. It is a whirlwind of colorful peoples, buildings, and cultures. Each new turn of the creaking screeching train reveals new sights. At each new tunnel, there is the always the waiting for the burst of light at the end. And then, there is always the expectation of the next journey.

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NYC collage small

 

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Paper cutouts

Like origami, these flat sheets fold into the shapes of three-dimensional landmarks.

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Panoramic artwork of the New York City skyline

When I gaze across the Hudson River from New Jersey, the soaring towers, glassy behemoths, and dark canyons of Manhattan instill me with awe. The broad expanse of the city juts out of the water with crenelated and jagged skyscrapers as if proclaiming: “I am here to stay. Come sun, wind, or water, I will remain. I will grow.”

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 New York CityManhattan from Hoboken

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IMG_6256Misty Manhattan Morning

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Madison SquareMadison Square Park

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George Washington BridgeGeorge Washington Bridge from Riverside State Park

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George Washington Bridge PanoramicGeorge Washington Bridge from Riverside State Park

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New York HarborManhattan from Brooklyn Heights

Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

View more artwork like this about my experiences walking in New York City.
Also featured in the Columbia Daily Spectator in September 2016

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The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine soars above the low-slung tenements and boxy towers that edge up against it. Unfinished it survives; funds have long since dried up in our era of secularism and consumerism. Yet powerful it stands; solid stone will outlive the concrete and glass city. The cathedral’s soaring jagged silhouette seems to proclaim against the soot that darkens its façade and the urban din that drowns out the sanctity of silence: Come weather, wind, or rain, I will stand.

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