Living Art in the Park

If you’ve walked by Chinatown-International District’s Hing Hay Park during these dark days of winter, you will have noticed a warm, sunset-like glow coming from the windows above the park. The glow comes from Etta Lilienthal and Ben Zamora’s installation for Storefronts Seattle, “Portrait + Landscape.”

“We wanted to honor the space, the park, and the neighborhood by bringing a new life with our installation that worked in harmony with its environment,” says the duo.

Etta and Ben’s installation is a set of translucent square panels that reflect light that slowly change color as time passes. Depending on the location from which you view the installation, you’ll either see floating square panels stacked on top of each other (portrait), or panels that are separated and appear as blades of light (landscape). Because of its changing colors and different viewing formats, the installation creates the impression of movement.

“We treated the installation as its own living entity,” says Etta. “We hope to convey a sense of life that is moving and breathing and that almost seems to defy the reality of the architectural space it is contained in.”

Regarding the opportunity to showcase their work as part the Storefronts Seattle, the artists said the program has given them new insight on the impact their art can have on the community.

“We looked up and saw many people by the windows in the building across the street watching our installation and pointing and talking to each other about it. This was one of the most rewarding moments in our process: to start to see the effect our installation would have on the neighborhood.”

“Portrait + Landscape” is located at 409 Maynard Avenue South, and its lights go on every evening starting at 5:00pm. On display through February 28, 2011.

About storefrontsseattle

Activating neighborhoods and overlooked spaces by filling vacant urban spaces with art installations, pop-up boutiques, galleries, and community groups since 2010.
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