If you’re looking for a fun way to get in your daily steps, while enjoying nature and discovering a bit of contemporary art, then head on over to Riverside Park and check out RE:GROWTH, A Celebration of Art, Riverside Park, and the New York Spirit, a summer-long public art exhibit which includes site-specific works by 24 artists and covers 100 blocks of the westside park and waterfront.
Among my favorites of these works is an entirely charming fantasy garden installation by New York-based Korean artist Sui Park entitled Summer Vibe. While not entirely accessible — it’s located behind a locked gate — Summer Vibe is easily spotted along Riverside Drive at 78th Street as long as you know what you’re looking for.
Sui Park’s work involves creating three dimensional organic forms in generic and biomorphic shapes. Through these forms, she attempts to express seemingly static yet dynamic characteristics of our evolving lives.
Summer Vibe represents a landscape of abstract forms that visualize a rich culture, and weave and connect the subtle changes in organic forms. These biomorphic forms are created from mass-produced industrial materials, in particular monofilament and cable ties, which are non-durable, disposable and trivial.
When Park weaves and connects these plastic ties, she transforms them into organic visualizations. The artist aims to create lasting moments, evoking and encapsulating our precious thoughts and feelings.
Of course, the fact that Park creates a beautiful, other-worldly landscape from the same types of single-use plastics that are complicit in destroying our environment should give everyone pause for thought.
REGROWTH Runs Through Mid-September 2021 in Riverside Park on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.