Saturday, April 2, 2016

Checking out the new Bus Stop in West Hollywood...

When I first saw the new 'Bus Stop' art installation in West Hollywood's Park I did wonder if someone was playing a joke, because you know, L.A. isn't exactly know for its public transport system (or rather they are, and it's a bad reputation).

Bus Stop installation by Yi Hwan-Kwon
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop sculpture installation
Anyway I ventured down to the space opposite the Pacific Design Center along San Vicente Boulevard at the start of april to inspect the new artwork by Korean artist Yi Hwan-Kwon.
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop installation West Hollywood Park
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop sculpture West Hollywood
The piece(s) are part of West Hollywood's 'Art on the Outside' initiative, which regularly graces the neighbourhood with temporary sculptures and installations, which I fully support and enjoy seeing.
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop sculptures West Hollywood
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop elongated figure
The Bus Stop includes the shelter itself, plus seven elongated figures and a fire hydrant, and it's not until you get up close that you see how weird and intriguing they are.
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop elongated figures
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop elongated sculpture figures
The stretched people waiting for their buses are designed to courage viewers to take a moment for pause and reflection, so that's a job well done, as I really thought I wouldn't like this new bit of whimsy, but I found it strangely compelling.
Bus Stop elongated figure on phone
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop outdoor art installation
Interestingly the installation features a drunk, seemingly homeless character sleeping it off on the ground, and I couldn't help but notice all the homeless people asleep around this display area.
Bus Stop elongated boy on scooter figure
Bus Stop elongated boy on scooter figure
There's been a real rise in homeless people on the streets of West Hollywood lately, some mentally unhinged attacking passing cars and buses, or shouting obscenities at passersby or acting erratically.
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop outdoor art
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop drunk figure
Some people say they've been displaced by all the new developments and gentrification of Downtown L.A., but whatever the cause you have to wonder, would this money for outdoor sculptures be better spent by the city helping these homeless people in need?
Yi Hwan-Kwon Bus Stop scooter hydrant
Public art is lovely to look at, but so is a city without people having to live on the streets, especially those who are mentally ill and require more help than others.
Bus Stop public art Yi Hwan-Kwon West Hollywood
West Hollywood is a cash rich city, able to build new libraries and afford multi-million dollar developments of parkland, it has thriving business and healthy tourism, so isn't it in our interests to have cleaner and safer streets, plus use some of that cash to help those who can't help themselves too.

If they can afford to pay hundreds of dollars in sexual assault lawsuits, you'd think there was some money spare to help the homeless...

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