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Olivia Beens, Wan Ling Li, & Angela Valeria



Metro Poles: Art In Action was a collaborative curatorial project based on the interconnected extremities of contemporary art with the geography of NY art   world. The organizations involved were the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning Bronx River Gallery, and Asian American Arts Center. The Journey was exhibited through the Asian American Arts Center at the Chinatown Manpower Project.

Artist Olivia  Beens transforms a classroom in the Chinatown Manpower office into a  unique shrine-like meditative environment. Torso forms will line the  walls creating a story board for the viewer, much like tablets  portraying the life of Buddha in a temple. Viewers will be  invited to draw on the torso forms marking the artwork with their own  images using pencil and oil pastels. Texts, sign and invitations to  viewers will be written in English, and Chinese.

This installation  piece uses objects found in the streets and parks of New York City. She  transforms non-traditional materials into ritualistic, experiential  elements inspired by Eastern Art, her own experience as an immigrant  and travels abroad. Along life's journey one must make choices; we stop  at the crossroads to ponder. The piece invites the viewer to  participate and poses the questions;

Where are you going?

Where do you come from?

What do you want?            


One never really knows what is at the end of the road. The outcome of ones choices and decisions can only be imagined.   The only thing we can count on in life is that there will be change           



The Journey is influenced by Chinatown, the community that I call home and the layers  time, of cultures and civilizations I witness on a daily basis. New York City for me is like the cathedral of Hagia Sophia with visible exposed calligraphies, architectural details, and mosaics. Many people  in Lower Manhattan are originally from another country with different  cultures and experience we share in our daily lives through  interactions with others, mostly without realizing it. I want to create a work that reflects this.

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