International District Branch, Seattle Public Library
713 Eighth Ave. S.
Libraries For All Bond 1% for Art
Wellspring, created by artist Rene Yung, celebrates the rich history and diversity of the Chinatown/International District with three installations located throughout the branch library. Above the library stacks on a bright red wall, 120 teacups sit on individual bases forming the shape of a globe. Multi-colored and varied in shape and size, the teacups reflect the cultural makeup of the library patrons. Additional cups are encased in internally lit, semi-opaque resin cubes and nestled on shelves, creating a pleasant surprise for people searching for books. Still others are displayed in interior windows behind glass etched with quotations and commentary on the significance of the teacup. For Wellspring, Yung collected more than 180 teacups donated by members of the community.
These teacups are representative of the work generated in response to community demand for the incorporation of art in branch libraries. Such artworks are meant to enhance the new-and-improved facilities constructed with funds made available by the "Libraries for All" bond measure of 1998.
According to the artist, the cups within Wellspring represent "an individual well of nourishment and jointly a gathering of goodwill and vitality." The powerful symbolism of the cup is universal, evoking not only the multicultural setting of the International District but also the diverse stories, ideas and knowledge of the books that form the heart of the building itself.