About the Exhibition
Selected by the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation and the Public Art Fund, Inc. as their second annual Artist-in-Residence, Kazuko (b.1942, Tokyo, Japan) has created an artwork using Bryant Park as her studio, and, as her materials, the tall trees, broad walks and architecture of this great open space and urban oasis. The Artist-in-Residence program was conceived by the Public Art Fund as a creative process in which park users, involved in the artwork from its inception, could follow the progress of the artist and, knowing it was intended for them, thus become both its admirers and protectors.
Kazuko, perched with her assistant high up on a 16-foot-tall ladder in the branches of the trees, created a sculpture of bridges made of twigs and fallen branches—collected in Central Park and on Ward’s Island—inserted between two rows of ropes suspended from the trees lining the 42nd street promenade. Making turns, and passing over begonia beds and bushes, Kazuko’s bridges will span distances ranging from 20’ to 150’.
To protect the living trees, burlap is wrapped around the limb to which the rope will be attached—and over the burlap will go narrow pieces of wood to further protect them.
Visitors to the park are invited to participate in the collection of fallen branches so that this artwork is both an aesthetic and cooperative creation. Carved birds nest high in the trees and on the bridges, attracting other birds to make Bryant Park their home.
Kazuko will exhibit her work in the park for a year; during that time she will continue to work and repair it. Perhaps the most unique factor in this program has been the lack of vandalism, attributed to the public’s feeling of involvement in the creative process.
The Bryant Park Artist-in-Residence program is the result of an objective formulated in 1972 when the Public Art Council—later to become the Public Art Fund—was formed by Doris Freedman.