Broadway City Hall Station: Chintzware

Photo: of an art installation called Broadway City Hall Station: Chintzware
Broadway – City Hall

Broadway City Hall Station: Chintzware

By Julian Hou

Julian Hou’s Chintzware (2017) considers the station lobby as a space of transition. The abstracted form of the steering wheel creates an ornamental repetitive pattern across the windows that’s reminiscent of designs found on textiles and ceramics, from which the title of the work derives. As the light filters through the work, the slight changes within the pattern resemble the function of a camera shutter.

Rendered through Photoshop, Chintzware uses the post-production software as a means to replicate and transform the image of the steering wheel into an iconic form. Viewed en masse, the tightly arranged pattern suggests excess or hypermobility. This pattern is intermittently interrupted by ties that bind some of the steering wheels together, nullifying the wheel’s functionality of control, intended direction, and guidance of perpetual motion. These binds suggest a stasis and fixed position, similar to that of the photographer’s perspective from behind the lens. 

While the transitory nature of the station on the one hand suggests constant movement, the space also functions as a waiting area rather than solely a conduit for outbound travel. A place of shelter, awaiting the arrival of your connecting mode of transport, a meeting point, or simply a place to bide time