Gateway at SFO

Hi peeps!  I’m back from vacation and excited to get back into the swing of writing here…

I thought I would post more while in Mexico, but what can I say?  The margaritas washed away my lucidity? The humidity locked up my keyboard? A pelican ate my notes?

Whatever the case, I’m back and ready to get crackin’.  I still have some historical figures I’d like to focus on later this week to wrap up Black History Month, but today I want to share an amazing art installation I came across on my way out of town.

No, it’s not in Oakland, but it is just across the bay at the stunning San Francisco International Terminal of SFO (designed by architect Craig Hartman, the same creative force behind our ultra-modern Cathedral of Christ the Light)… so we’ll give a little shout out to the West Bay for a change.

The following pictures are of a permanent mural project entitled “Gateway” by Korean born and New York City based artist Ik-Joong Kang. It was commissioned and installed in 2000, and though I’ve been through this terminal numerous times since then, strangely have never seen it before. I love it.

gateway, Ik-Joong kang, SFO airport art

3" paintings, mixed media, gateway

The mural contains 5,265 unique 3″ x 3″ paintings, wood carvings, tiles, and cast acrylic cubes [with found objects]. The artist began working in this format when he was a student and commuted long distances to various part-time jobs. The 3″ canvases were small enough for him to carry in his backpack and paint on the subway!” (San Francisco Arts Commission plaque)

ik-joong kang, mixed media art, acrylic castings, 3 inch paintings

3 inch tiles, 3 inch paintings, gateway, art installation at SFO, ik-joong kang

The nature of this piece is exemplary for Kang, as he is known for large scale mosaic-like installations composed from many smaller pieces. These individual “tiles” comprise snapshots of language, religion, and culture that, when juxtaposed and stitched together, create a complex and shimmering representation. There is a great in-depth article about Kang and his work at CultureBase.

art installation at SFO, mixed media art, 3 inch tiles, 3 inch paintings