For the third year in a row, LADF and Chung King Road celebrate the vibrant creative community that continues to grow under the crimson glow of Chinatown’s lanterns by hosting Chinatown Design Night, June 29th from 7pm to 10pm. Shops, studios, and galleries will stay open late into the summer night for this all-out art and design street party, which also serves as the closing party for the Los Angeles Design Festival.
In addition to traditional restaurants, apothecaries, and novelty shops, Los Angeles’ Chinatown has become an artistic stomping ground for hipsters and curators alike, with boutique architecture and design studios, indie fashion shops, and galleries now calling the Chung King Road neighborhood home.
From an exploration of male beauty to holographic art set to a famous dutch DJ’s electronica, and even a glimpse at TBWAChiatDay’s dragons, Chinatown Design Night 2013 will go off like a firecracker once again! Highlights include:
ABERRANT ABSTRACTION at Coagula Gallery curated by David DiMichele – The collection of works making up the exhibit come from a group of artists who’s goal was to readdress the act of abstraction in art. They sought to approach the pieces “in the language of painting, without being painting.”
Charlie James Gallery – Charlie James quit his job at Microsoft and moved to LA to open up the eponymous Chung King Alley gallery and pursue what he called his “passion project” in 2008. It’s precisely this personal fervor for fine art that is contagious when one walks into this bright white space. Featured works represent an array of abstraction and assemblage, constructed into installations, paintings, sculptures and always have a voice, a message, or something to say.
BINGWA at drkrm gallery – A Swahili term for “expert,” “competent,” and “body builder,” Pej Behdarvand’s exhibition BINGWA documents the enduring practices of bodybuilders in rural Africa. Behdarvand wanted to “isolate and dematerialize the figure to explore the motivation behind the self-glorification and to also challenge the viewer to examine his or her own notions of male beauty.” Feel free to examine your own notions of beauty when you stop in during Chinatown Design Night.
Midcentury Male Physique by John Palatinus at drkrm gallery – Sponsored by the California LGBT Arts Alliance, John Palatinus’s exhibit is sure to turn some heads. Intrigued by forms of beauty and the physical male body, Palatinus documented physique, trademarking his works with recognizable lighting techniques and minimal background. Because of his history of discord with government officials, through artistic trials and tribulations, Palatinus now reflects comfortably in his Palm Springs home as his “lost” collection of photos, Mid-Century Male Physique Photography, circulates through galleries and blogs across the globe.
Craft + Design with California Home and Design at Fifth Floor Gallery – Fifth Floor Gallery will be hosting the closing reception for Craft + Design, a special exhibition for the Furniture Society Symposium. California Home and Design co-hosts festivities. Executive Editor Erin Feher will be on hand to say a few words. Gallery owner and curator Robert Apodaca uses his architectural background to bring together artistic notions and spatial design, showing off in his gallery “accoutrements for the Modern Life.” His eclectic assortment of products and exhibits are often tied together through current social, political and environmental issues coursing through Los Angeles.
Cold Void Featuring Rafaël Rozendaal and Luuk Bouwman at KK Los Angeles – World renowned multi-media artist Rafaël Rozendaal and Dutch electronic musician Luuk Bouwman will debut their music and video project Cold Void here beginning June 15th and extending through Chinatown Design Night. The collaborative installation is part multi-media and part instrumental innovation. Rozendaal’s holographic video art pieces move by their own volition to Bouwman’s beats on a self-playing piano, guitar, and other various automatized instruments.
Let There Be Dragons – Let There Be Dragons – When we said you might see dragons at Chinatown Design Night, we weren’t kidding. Jennifer Golub‘s crack team will be on hand in their state-of-the-art roving mobile production studio designed by Standard. A play on the saying by ancient explorers that “Here be Dragons,” Let There Be Dragons draws on untapped passion projects sourced through TBWA staff and outside to create fearless and diverse films, television, digital projects and products. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to peek inside and meet the team.
Open House at Preen – Known for her skills as a hospitality designer, Preen owner Alexis Readinger will be opening her doors to the bustling crowds of Chinatown Design Night. Preen is an architecture and business enhancer, bringing its keen eye for design to hotels, restaurants and retail shops. Well-known Preen projects include Akasha, Stephen Webster, Sweet Lady Jane, and their own sexy Chung King live-work studio space. Just follow the music to the Southern end of Chung King Alley to check it out!
Sabina Lee Gallery – Many of the artists they display experiment with translating the urban environment, as well as removing everyday scenes from without their context and onto a canvas. Their white-walled, silent venue allows for a serene experience where the artist is able to communicate with the viewer solely through their works of art.
“Making Space” Closing Reception – The Institute for Figuring will be having a closing reception for the exhibit “Making Space” the night of Chinatown Design Night. This exhibition explores the many interpretations of the word “space,” and the influences around us constantly shaping these interpretations.
While at “Making Space,” concepts of dimension, mathematics and geography will be evaluated through active learning. Partake in this scientific exploration concluding Chinatown Design Night at the Institute for Figuring’s closing reception party.
Photo credit: Osceola Refetoff