Commissioned by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Sook Jin Jo’s sculpture/ installation “Wishing Bells/ To Protect & To Serve” was designed for the Public Plaza Entrance of the LA Metro Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles. Lightswitch designed the lighting for the installation to support the artist's vision.
Honoring Buddhist heritage in Japan, where bells in Buddhist temples are rung 108 times to herald the passing of the old year, Jo’s installation is composed of 108 bronze bells and nine 13-foot cedar columns sited where people can walk amongst the columns and hear the bells ring in the wind. Each element has significance, in particular the nine columns; they represent the five police commissioners, and the four star insignia of the chief of police, as well as Oriental spirituality in which nine is a sacred number that represents cosmic harmony. Combined with a plaza surface representing the movement of water, the artwork evokes the essence of a Zen Garden.
Our lighting was designed to illuminate and enhance the appearance of Sook Jin Jo’s sculpture without drawing undue attention to the lighting itself. Venerating the inherent simplicity of “Wishing Bells," the lighting brings out color from the metalwork of the bells causing them to become the same silver as the trellis that supports them. In the words of Sook Jin Jo, “it’s quite magical.” Drawing on the spirit of “Wishing Bells/ To Protect & To Serve,” we found a balance between design and art, which rendered the mood of inner harmony that is vital to Sook Jin Jo’s artistic intention. In so doing, we contributed to the success of the installation as a public space of peace and meditation.
Share Via Email
CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.