Hayes Valley – Ghinlon/Transcope

 Posted by on April 6, 2012
Apr 062012
Hayes Valley/Western Addition
Octavia Boulevard
between Market and Hayes
Ghinlon/Transcope by Po Shu Wang 2005

Commissioned by the SF Arts Commission for the Octavia Boulevard Streetscape Project, these transcopes invite you to observe the comings and goings along Octavia Boulevard and Patricia’s Green. There are twelve of these installed along the medians and the Green. The view through them can be twisted, converted or even upside down. While this was probably a wonderful concept, it fails in execution. To look into them is awkward. While one design is set at a height that works for the handicapped and small children, the other meant for standing adults were difficult for this 5’3″ author to use. Unfortunately, the view holes are so small that you really don’t see much anyway.

This is a paragraph from the SF Arts Commission’s Press Release regarding the installation:
The artist created a series of slender pole-like sculptures equipped with kaleidoscopic lenses that function as miniature observatories providing pedestrians with a transformed view of the surrounding environment and passing cars. The mounted scopes transform vehicular movements, colors, shapes and lights into extraordinary and beautiful real time moving pictures. Each observatory is equipped with a unique mirror lens combination giving the viewer an ever-changing kinetic snapshot of their environment. The sculptures have two standard designs: one for standing adults, and one for person in wheelchairs and/or children. The sculptures have a 60-degree vertical swing and a 180-degree horizontal swing. The slender support column on each sculpture includes the artist’s prosaic interpretation of the unique lens/mirror combination.

Born in Hong Kong, Po Shu Wang is an artist working out of Berkeley, California. His art projects are site-oriented viruses. Each individual artwork is a specific strain that intimately linked with a particular host environment. They co-evolve, mutate, and conflict with their hosts within a larger reality.

These pieces were part of the SFAC 2006-2007 budget and were commissioned for $150,000.

  3 Responses to “Hayes Valley – Ghinlon/Transcope”

  1. Is there that much of interest to see there? Sounds like a good idea gone wrong. Okay, I re-read some of your commentary and it wasn’t so much what you actually “see” but how you see it through these special scopes. Hmmm…still don’t see the attraction. But, hey, at least someone is trying to make things better!

  2. Sometimes it is better to just have the idea and think it might work. too bad this one doesn’t!

  3. p.s. The name is “Patricia’s Green”; after Patricia Walkup, a neighborhood activist who dedicated much of her time to getting the freeway down. The SF Arts Commission ran out of money for the site after a few installations. The Hayes Valley Art Coalition was formed and now sponsors the sculptures at Patricia’s Green and art elsewhere in Hayes Valley. http://www.hayesvalleyartcoaltion.org
    Kate Raudenbush is the next artist with “Future’s Past” to be installed in the first week of May, 2012. We finally have electricity to the site as well!! Thanks neighbors, merchants and the Black Rock Arts Foundation for the incredible support!!