CHEN DONGFAN: THE SONG OF DRAGON AND FLOWERS
Painting: July 13—July 20, 2018 | 2018年7月13日—7月20日
Press Conference｜媒体发布会：July 26, 2018, 2—3 pm
Location | 地点：Doyers Street, Chinatown, New York | 纽约曼哈顿中国城宰也街
Alana Morales, DOT Deputy Press Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-839-4850
Echo He, Fou Gallery, email@example.com or 917-689-9355
NEW YORK - Please join us for the opening reception of The Song of Dragon and Flowers, a large-scale public art project at New York Chinatown. Artist Chen Dongfan will be present and share his experiences of creating the work. From July 13th to 20th, Chen spent 8 days to implement an asphalt mural directly on the 4800 square foot Doyers Street, with the assistance from the New York City Department of Transportation's Art Program and Public Space Unit, Chinatown Partnership, FouGallery, and ArtBridge.
To highlight the historical significance of Doyers Street in the history of immigration of the Asian American community, Chen Dongfan created The Song of Dragon and Flowers. The artist chooses to capture the soul and spirit of the dragon, as a visual embodiment of the area and the lasting Chinese cultural heritage. The flowers are a symbol of peace in response to the rich history of Chinatown. Together they compose a song with exuberant and dynamic rhythm.
The project is part of New York City Department of Transportation's Seasonal Streets program. Seasonal Streets temporarily transform streets into vibrant public space during warm weather when people use them the most. In addition to movable furniture, umbrellas, and other amenities, the Doyers Street Seasonal Street also features a temporary public art installation presented through the NYCDOT Art Program’s Arterventions program track. The Song of Dragon and Flowers by Chen Dongfan was selected from the Open Call because of its outstanding visual presentation and the meaningful connection with the historical significance of Doyers Street and the history of Asian American immigration to the United States of America.
About the NYC DOT Art Program Launched in 2008, the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program invigorates the City’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. The program partners with community-based organizations and artists to present murals, sculptures, projections and performances on plazas, fences, barriers, bridges, step streets and sidewalks for up to 11 months. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dotart.
"Chinatown's history is full of hardship, but also full of love. Doyers Street is located in Chinatown, intersecting with Pell Street at its very end, as if a flying dragon is winding its way up and resting at the intersection of two streets. I was inspired by the immigrant experience and how they perceive this neighborhood as home. Thus, I believe that dragon, both from its visual form and the cultural meaning, can best represent the area. Instead of depicting the form of the dragon on the street, I choose to capture the soul and spirit of this mythical animal, as a visual embodiment of the lasting Chinese cultural heritage.
Tagore said, “Let life be beautiful like summer flowers." The symbol of flowers implies two meanings in this mural: First, to honor the suffragette Mabel Lee and to praise those who advocate for women's rights. Second, the flower is a symbol of peace. After witnessing the violent history of Chinatown, Doyers Street becomes its own epic and legend.
The song refers to the style and art-making process of my space painting. Different from other graffiti street art, my works often form a close relationship with space, for I believe that space tells its own story. When I paint, I first immerse myself in the space, waiting for the very moment, and let my paintbrush guide me through my improvisational action painting. Through the explosion and abstract lines and vivid colors, I want to bring the oriental charm into my work and compose a song with exuberant and dynamic rhythm.
I'm honored to contribute to the community of my own ethnic group and use my brush to tell the story of the past, the current, and the future of Chinatown." --Chen Dongfan