Cermak-Chinatown

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Overlapping Connections
Indira Freitas Johnson
Hand-made ceramic tile
2015, Arts in Transit

Located in the heart of the city’s largest Chinese community, the Cermak station serves as a gateway for local and international visitors traveling to and from Chinatown and nearby Pilsen. Artist Indira Freitas Johnson’s two-part ceramic mural honors Chinese custom and incorporates universal patterns and symbols, notably the colors and textures found in Chinese and Mexican paper-cut craft traditions. The centerpiece of the upper panel features Fook (in Mandarin), the symbol of good fortune or happiness. According to custom, the symbol is placed upside down and against a diamond-shaped background. Within the context of the stairway Fook () may be translated as “good fortune arrives.” Together the upper and lower panels communicate a lively dialogue through the repetition of geometric shapes, organic forms and bold colors.

 

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