High Prismatic - CODAworx

High Prismatic

Submitted by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)/Metro Art

Client: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)

Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States

Completion date: 2023

Project Team


Pearl C. Hsiung

Agency Lead

Metro Art


Mosaicos Venecianos de Mexico


Pearl C. Hsiung’s dramatic 61-foot glass tile mosaic “High Prismatic” greets Los Angeles Metro riders as they ascend from and descend to the below ground train platform at Grand Av Arts/Bunker Hill station. One of Metro’s deepest stations, the Grand Av Arts/Bunker Hill station opened in Fall 2023 as part of the ambitious Regional Connector project, which links multiple countywide light rail lines. Hsiung’s artwork serves as a landmark, welcoming transit riders to the Bunker Hill neighborhood which is home to several iconic Los Angeles cultural institutions including The Broad, Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Music Center, and Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA), among others.

Reflecting upon the geological, anthropological, and cultural histories of the region served by the station, Hsiung’s artwork “High Prismatic” depicts an explosive, colorful eruption rising out of an infinitely roiling landscape toward a spray-tinted, celestial expanse. This ‘geyser’ visualizes the hydrological, social, and political forces that collected, flowed, and sculpted Bunker Hill. The saturated palette, variegated painting techniques, and compositional approach in “High Prismatic” allude to the buried, exposed, and still-forming stories of this aspirational cultural center.


Metro’s growing transit system connects neighborhoods and cultural destinations across Los Angeles County. By integrating arts experiences throughout the system, Metro Art strives to make the journey more enjoyable. Metro Art's goal is to connect people with each other and the places they want to go with programs that reflect the rich diversity and creativity of the region. In reviewing artists’ proposals for the new downtown stations, panelists considered the experience of both area residents and visitors. Selected artworks engage deeply with location, acknowledging the individual character of the station area within the larger fabric of the city. Of her work at the Grand Av Arts/Bunker Hill Station, Hsiung says, “I wanted to celebrate the disparate yet harmonious cosmos of images, languages, cultures and relationships that make up the history of this region, it’s ever-churning present and endlessly shifting future.”


As one of Metro’s deepest stations the Grand Av Arts/Bunker Hill Station presented unique challenges for artwork. Early in the station planning process, Metro Art worked closely with the project team to identify artwork areas with high impact visibility. The glass elevator bank descending 61 feet into the station created an atrium-like space with a large vertical wall—a natural yet demanding location for artwork. Hsiung’s design maximizes the potential of this dramatic space. It evokes a dynamism that gives the transit environment a transcendent quality. The artwork is striking from a distance and jewel-like up close. The success of "High Prismatic" was the result of the close collaboration between all involved.

Additional Information

PEARL C. HSIUNG (b. 1973, Taiwan) is an artist and educator whose multi-disciplinary practice utilizes various techniques and conceptual strategies to explore physical, psychical, and metaphysical metamorphosis. These investigations often focus on human and non-human relationships to, within, and as nature. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master of Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College, London. Her paintings, installations, and video works have been exhibited extensively throughout the Los Angeles region and in the US, Asia, Europe, and Mexico. Hsiung has been awarded a California Cultural Foundation Fellowship and artist residencies from the Art Production Fund, Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), Red Mansion Foundation, and the National Park Service for the Santa Monica Mountains and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. and the National Park Service for the Santa Monica Mountains and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. She is an Assistant Professor of Drawing and Painting at CSULB.