By Jorge Fuentelsaz
New York, Feb 9 (EFE).- Valentine’s Day is approaching and New York City’s iconic Times Square has unveiled its latest art installation to mark the occasion: a structure made of PVC pipes that makes a statement about unwavering love.
That installation – titled “Bloom” and on view starting Wednesday in that midtown Manhattan commercial intersection – is the latest winner of the Times Square Love and Design Competition, which has been organized for the past 14 years by the Times Square Alliance.
Four columns, each made up of pink-colored PVC pipes, rise from the ground and support a white, undulating cloudscape made of pieces of sectioned pipes that serve as portals and allow light to pour in from the flashy LED billboards that tower over the square on all sides.
Jieun Yang, the designer of the installation and founding principal of Habitat Workshop, a New York City-based architecture and urban design studio, said the choice of a mundane material was intended to convey the idea that love does not always have to be a grand gesture.
She added that constancy and devotion – symbolized by the four pillars that are rooted in the ground and support the rest of the luminous structure – can be a nurturing force that allows another person to be oneself and explore.
Each section of PVC pipe in the cloud section is surrounded by six other sections, an expression of collective love, resilience and dependence on one another, Yang said.
The chief curator at New York City’s Museum of Arts and Design, Elissa Auther, part of the competition selection committee that chose the winning work, described it as a homage to collective love and a reminder that each individual has the ability to uplift and support the community as a whole.
Yang, meanwhile, also has implied a connection between the art installation and the trying times of the pandemic.
“We are honored for the opportunity to create a project that recognizes human fragility and strength, especially after a few years of struggle to care for ourselves and others in this overwhelming and disruptive world,” she was quoted as saying on the website of Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance.
“Multiple sections of linked pipes form a buoyant cloud with a heart-shaped core blooming from each section’s center, and the aggregate of each interlocking connector provides strength for the overall structure. Bloom is an offering of hope and a reminder that we must find vivacity amid the darkness.”
The public response appeared to be mixed.
One passerby stopped near the installation and expressed to Efe her appreciation, but another was unimpressed and said he is glad it will only be in Duffy Square, Times Square’s northern triangle, until March 9.