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'Year of the Dog' Art Installation in Chinatown Park

Official Website:'Year of the Dog' Art Installation in Chinatown Park
Location:John F Fitzgerald Surface Rd., Boston, MA, 02111
Dates:Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Saturday, September 1, 2018
Ages:Toddlers, Kids, Teens, Adults
In/Outdoor:Outdoor
Cost:Free
Category:Exhibits


'Year of the Dog' Art Installation in Chinatown ParkEnjoy the completed installation of a new public art commission in Chinatown Park. The artwork, titled 'Year of the Dog', honors the collective memory and shared experiences of the Chinatown community.

Each spinnable block is engraved with traditional Chinese characters or excerpts from stories from the Chinatown community. Visitors are encouraged to turn the blocks, constructing new stories and interpretations, each time reinventing the narrative of the artwork!

Year of the Dog is the fourth piece in a curation of sculptural and mixed-media installations based on the twelve years of the Chinese Zodiac. With the aim of celebrating both past and present, each year a new artwork has been temporarily installed in the space in front of the Essex Street Gate in The Greenway’s Chinatown Park.

The installation’s goal is to unite the history, culture, and traditions of the Chinese New Year and the Chinatown community with the ideas and expressions of contemporary artists. Past zodiac curations include the 3D printer Make and Take (2017) by Chris Templeman for Year of the Rooster, the 12-foot Monkey See (2016) sculpture by Don Kennell and the paper-mache Wandering Sheep (2015) by Kyu Seok Oh. Wandering Sheep was recognized by Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network as one of the best installations in the country in 2016.

Puno’s artwork was inspired by conversations with people who live, work or play within Chinatown. Stories were collected in-person and through an online survey that asked participants about the characteristics associated with the dog, such as generosity, loyalty, and the ability to work well with others.

The artist collaborated with the Asian Community Development Corporation’s youth leadership program Asian Voices of Organized Youth for Community Empowerment (A-VOYCE) working in groups to brainstorm how dogs, dog qualities, and the year of the dog related to their Chinatown experiences, their families and their lives.

Through these workshops Puno recorded their thoughts and comments and incorporated them into the final artwork.

The process of collecting this input mirrors the giving nature and collaborative spirit that is often ascribed to dogs; the end result is an artwork that is designed to be playful and dynamic, just like this zodiac animal.

The vertical column format of the artwork lends itself to the traditional way of reading Chinese from top to bottom and right to left, and blocks are designed in both Chinese and English. Visitors can turn the blocks and choose which sides to combine, constructing their own stories and meanings.

To add another level, the meaning of a Chinese character changes based on the characters that appear before or after, making an opportunity to create poetic connections that would otherwise be impossible to describe in English.

Puno’s work joins four artworks currently on display on The Greenway: Spaces Of Hope by artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo, the fifth Greenway Wall mural at Dewey Square Park; We The People II, painted by local artist Mia Cross, that reflects Boston's Leather District through the eyes of locals; Balancing Acts by Aakash Nihalani, depicting tilting and toppling blocks caught in a state of suspended animation; and Ways of Wood by Daniel Ibanez of Margen-Lab, that tells the story of the log milling process.

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John F Fitzgerald Surface Rd., Boston, MA, 02111 map

Chinatown Park
John F Fitzgerald Surface Rd
Boston, MA 02111

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