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Life Arts

Installationist and Site Artist Nobuho Nagasawa's Latest Project Is Up and Running

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Nobuho Nagasawa is a remarkable public artist whose most recent project was designing and installing part of the Birds Motif at the new Soto Metro Station in Los Angeles.

To read my first OEN article featuring images of Nagasawa's works, click here.

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Ms. Nagasawa describes her art this way:

"My work ranges from site-specific projects to installations and public art. I create an interactive space that is informed by the actual place -- its history, people and spatial narrative. This approach requires detective-like investigation and quasi-archeological research, exploring sociological and psychological aspects of each site. Immediate physical and social context influences the form, content, and choice of materials and media.

Nobuho Nagasawa

I see my artist's identity as inevitably "hybrid" in my case, part sculptor, journalist, poet, architect, and urban designer. Materials and methodology follow upon the necessary diversity of evolving concepts as a project reveals its conditions. I see this process as an excavation of meanings cultural, geopolitical, social, personal that lie hidden within the materials themselves. By revealing personal memories, collective histories, unacknowledged myths, and contradictory issues, I try to open up key social and personal reserves that can galvanize public interaction. Art, after all, has the power to deconstruct the blockages of social energy and serve as a catalyst to new vision and public self-discovery. My goal is to create artwork that provokes and revives a site and wakes people up to the poetry of place.

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I am intrigued by the sense of scale, both human and civic, and how relatively small changes can enhance private experience within the public setting. A truly livable space should stand the test of time. It spurs social communication and inspires reconstruction. When history is brought to the surface through public art, it can serve as source for the renewal of cultural identity and the evolution of social values.

My goal is to create works that attract people to possibility where and as they live. The development and realization of art in public is a dialogue with a place and its time land and substance, its past, its people, the future they create made new, immediate, and somehow timeless.

Nobuho Nagasawa"


Ms. Nagasawa, Her Project, and The Soto Station, in progress:

Outside Soto Station During Construction (Undated, 2009)

Escalator, Ceiling and Track Below (April, 2009)

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Soto Tower Before Raising (April, 2009)

Mezzanine and Subway Tunnel (May, 2009)

Birds Home Words and Mural (Undated, 2009)

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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