Six finalist entries to design the city’s official Memorial to the Victims of the 1871 Chinese Massacre have been announced jointly by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument.
The memorial will commemorate the 18 victims of mob-induced killings that took place near the current site of the Chinese American Museum downtown and was commissioned two years ago in the interest of conveying a “broader, more universal” message on violence and racism, according to DCA General Manager Daniel Tarica.
In the midst of a difficult week already marred by the back-to-back mass shootings that took place elsewhere in the city and state, Los Angeles’ Chinese-American community is in need of healing from unrelated violence, which, nevertheless, raises the specter of a rash of anti-AAPI incidents that spiked across the country during the pandemic.
“We want this memorial to grapple with both the historic events of 1871 and the resonances of that event in and for contemporary society. And we hope it will do so self-consciously, wittingly,” the city’s former Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne told us in a September preview. “We've been very clear about our interest not to hide the fact that this memorial, like virtually all others, will have something powerful to say not just about the past but about the moment in which it is designed.”
Therefore the winner will have the chance to design what will become one of the most important public memorial designs in the country in recent memory. Each finalist entry will receive a $15,000 stipend to further develop their ideas for next month’s public forum. An evaluation panel consisting of Hawthorne, Annie Chu, Mark Lee, and six other arts professionals with ties to the community will then make a final decision.
These are the six finalist design proposals:
Fung + Blatt Architects
Los Angeles, CA
Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong and Judy Chui-Hua Chung
Artist/Writer Collaboration, Los Angeles, CA
Artists Anna Sew Hoy and Zhu Jia and Formation Association
Artists/Architect Collaboration, Los Angeles, CA
Frederick Fisher and Partners David Ross, Takashige Ikawa, and Iustina Nicolae + Artist Candice Lin
Architect/Artist Collaboration, Los Angeles, CA
Figure x J. Jih
Architecture Collective, led by James Leng and Jennifer Ly in collaboration with J. Roc Jih, San Francisco, CA
Sonam Lhamo, Jiawei Yao, Yiying Tang
Architectural Team, Seattle, WA
RELATED COMPETITION Request for Ideas: Memorial to the Victims of the 1871 Chinese Massacre
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