iris yirei hu’s tile mosaic artwork will call attention to the native flora, fauna, and wildlife of Southern California, along with their seasonal shifts and the cycles of life and death. Through a series of three images, the work depicts a symbolic union of Tongva elder Julia Bogany (1948-2021) and poet emi kuriyama (1991-2016). Among her many cultural and civic positions, Bogany was the president of the Gabrielino-Tongva Springs Foundation, founded to preserve and protect the Kuruvungna Village Springs near the project site. The artwork references kuriyama’s story The gHost (Part 1), about the natural world and the environment around her home just north of the UCLA campus. The artwork will celebrate their kindred legacies and remind Metro riders of our collective responsibilities to the earth and to each other.
“Platforming the natural landscape in the train station will remind Metro riders that human beings are a part of this earth, and that we have responsibilities to it. Deepening our relationships to the natural world, building creative relationships with one another, and uplifting dreams, transcendence, and possibility to cultivate a hopeful, interdependent world of awareness are deeply urgent, and will remain so when the station opens.”
About the Artist
IRIS YIREI HU (b. 1991, Los Angeles) paints, weaves, dyes, tells stories, and composts her lived reality into installations, public artworks, and intercultural, generational, and geographical collaborations, often working in community with artists, scientists, historians, keepers of traditions, and organizers. Hu earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2013 and a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University in 2017, and her work has been exhibited extensively. In addition to her projects with LA Metro, Hu has completed public art commissions for California State University, Dominguez Hills; Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA-LA) and Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND); and LA County Department of Mental Health. Hu was selected for the internationally recognized artist-in-residence program at Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2022). She is a recipient of support through the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans (2016), the California Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship (2021), Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2018, 2021, 2022), and the California Community Foundation (2022).