A Place Called Home
Columbia City Branch, Seattle Public Library
4721 Rainier Ave. S.
Libraries for All Bond 1% for Art
Peering over the stacks in the Columbia City Library, one can come face to face with Gu Xiong's artwork, A Place Called Home. Twenty-two images of immigrants who live near the library are juxtaposed with words like "home," "roots" and "together." These words are translated into the language of the immigrant's country of origin and then highlighted against a colorful background. Combined with a compelling portrait, the arrangement of text, image and color makes a playful yet poignant impact when considered individually. However the separate pieces excel as a group when the rainbow of faces and languages create a dramatic impression. Mounted within striking curvilinear frames, the images become a lively landscape, echoing the diverse community that surrounds the library.
For the artist, the artwork creates "a dialogue between the individual and the community, their past and present, which are in constant flux." Gu Xiong aims to highlight the immigrant experience "in terms of human and cultural survival under the conditions of immigration and globalization," which he feels is "a great part of rebirth."