Marisa Yiu and Eric Schuldenfrei are designers who focus on the intersection of art, architecture, and global politics. In particular their interest lies in examining the ways in which the built environment and constructs of labor shape social relationships, network systems, and connections between participatory design and civic engagement. In their current work, art and technology are components utilized to engage and inform the viewer. The work encourages individuals to be more active in shaping the city, public space, and the world around us.
Chinatown WORK, 2006 is an interactive public art installation for multiple sites in Chinatown. Silhouettes of pedestrians mix the footage of interior work spaces with time-lapse exterior street images of unique areas that define New York’s Chinatown contemporary work culture. The piece focuses on those industries that helped to establish and provide immigrants’ employment in New York in the past and still today. The interactive and responsive installation encourages community participation in the changing landscape of Chinatown while celebrating the people who made and still are contributing to this exceptional part of Lower Manhattan. For the light box component of the piece, Marisa Yiu and Eric Schuldenfrei collaborated with 3-form material solutions and October Ai to construct a sewn map of lower Manhattan and develop a socially and environmentally conscious material for the optimum keying of the technological needs of this project. The first site installation is at the HSBC facade on Canal Street (58 Bowery Branch). The artists are also planning for installations at other sites in Chinatown for the summer of 2006.
The Public Arts installation is made possible by the generous support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Grant for Art in Public Spaces, the September 11th Fund, the Manhattan Community Arts Fund supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs, 3-form material solutions and Asian American Arts Centre. The project is endorsed by the Rebuild Chinatown Initiative (RCI), Explore Chinatown Campaign and assisted by Chinatown Partnership LDC. First site provided by HSBC at Canal Street facade at the 58 Bowery Branch. Opening reception generously supported by Chivas Regal and hosted by the Storefront for Art and Architecture.