This site-specific installation, with its kinetic movement of wood and paint, encompasses the tensions within the East Broadway mall. Created as a mediation on the struggles and success of immigration, this piece expands to address the movement of not only people but of capital and goods dictated by the demands of global economic markets.
The shape, movement and skin of the piece come together in the form of a mythological Chinese dragon. The dragon, a symbol of abundance and prosperity, becomes a poignant bearer of the ideas of capitalism, a constant pursuit of prosperity that consumes but also transports people to fortune. An initial impetus for the piece was derived from the Golden Venture incident in 1993 where a large human trafficking ring was exposed that brought migrants from the Fujian province, the main ethnic group within the East Broadway Mall, to America. This story of struggle is simultaneously one of hope with the flowering of new generations. My own background, being half Chinese and half Austrian, speaks to such struggle and success. I would not have the life I do now if it was not for the hardships faced by my grandparents in leaving their home country.
Like a tornado, this “dragon” envelops and whirls in an infinite loop that goes beyond the boundaries of the glass stall and encompasses the mall, the city and the system. This pursuit of prosperity that has swept through our world, changing the face of the planet and our societies is one of peril and one of golden success.
A special thank you goes to Outlaw Arts, Tony Chan, Hardpin, Matt Heymann, Julia Borowicz and the people of East Broadway Mall.