Featuring Special Sunset Dance Performances, March 5–6, 2021
(NEW YORK, NY — March 1, 2021) — Times Square Arts is pleased to present the final weeks of Soft-Firm’s Love Letters. On view through March 10, 2021, Love Letters is the winning sculpture of the 2021 Love in Times Square Design Competition, curated by Reddymade. Over the last several weeks, Love Letters has invited the public to participate in the installation by leaving their own love letters attached to the sculpture, creating a heartfelt public artwork in celebration of loved ones, lost ones, essential workers, New York City pride, and more in the heart of Times Square. Soft-Firm is represented by Lexi Tsien and Talitha Liu.
To celebrate the closing of Love Letters, dancer Marielis Garcia will share a special sunset dance performance entitled Encantó on March 5th and 6th at 5:45pm. Inspired by the ways we convey care for ourselves and others, Garcia will incorporate Love Letters into her choreography, moving within and among the installation to original music in a costume inspired by the artwork.
Love Letters riffs off of the building facades of New York City, using plywood as a material of public engagement to mimic a scrolling storefront. The installation winds across Duffy Square in the heart of Times Square to create four integrated spaces—the soapbox, loveseat, chapel, and wishing well—in one folding surface, forming the shape of two interlocked hearts. Love Letters reflects its context throughout the day and has already become an amphitheatre for public engagement with photoshoots, impromptu proposals, birthday parties, protests, or quiet moments of reflection.
Continuing the ancient custom of votive offerings — the ritual of tying a ribbon to a wishing tree, or a love lock to a bridge — visitors are invited to tie a wish, a memento, or an artifact onto the netted underlay, such as letters of protest, a letter to a lost loved one, or a message of appreciation to essential workers. The public can layer on their own meanings to the plywood storefront, each an author of the installation. Over time, Love Letters will become a memorial and a beacon: a symbol of solidarity and hope. For those that cannot attend, they are invited to submit a love letter online to be added to the sculpture at www.TSQ.org/LoveLetters.
The 2021 Times Square Design Competition: Love in Times Square is presented by Times Square Arts in partnership with Reddymade, founded by award-winning architect Suchi Reddy, who was the winner of the 2019 Times Square Design Competition. This year’s material constraint of plywood was developed in collaboration with and inspired by worthless studios and their Plywood Projection Project. Fabrication consultation was provided by UAP Company.
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Times Square Arts
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Acting as a laboratory for contemporary art in the public realm — a place where ideas are tested, and new possibilities explored — we work with artists and cultural institutions to create dialogues with Times Square and all of its physical and mythological manifestations. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity. Times Square Arts is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Soft-Firm is an interdisciplinary practice and flexible platform off which to expand design hunches into architectural ideas, spaces, and artifacts. Soft-firm is speculative and concrete: taking a playful and lo-fi approach to visual perception, elemental forms, and material contrast. Using design as a tool of activism, Soft-Firm engages collaborative and progressive programs to promote equity in institutions and the architectural practice as a whole. The practice has designed interactive exhibitions and installations, residential and commercial projects, and published work in design magazines and academic journals. The Love Letters project team includes Lexi Tsien, Talitha Liu, and Tanvi Marina Rao with fabrication by Pink Sparrow, and contributions from Barry Cordage and Layr.
A leader in today’s global design culture, Reddymade was founded by Suchi Reddy in 2002. Since its inception, the firm has been lauded for its formal experimentation, its imaginative use of color, and passion for innovative materials. Based in New York, the firm’s practice spans the fields of architecture, design, installation art, and sculpture. Its diverse portfolio of projects includes public art installations, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, large-scale commercial spaces, and residential projects— from single family homes to micro-apartments and prefab architecture. rmdny.com
worthless studios has a mission to provide space, materials, technical assistance and resources for aspiring artists of all backgrounds to realize their artistic visions. Founded in 2016 by Neil Hamamoto and incorporated as a nonprofit in 2019, worthless studios is a platform committed to supporting artist’s fabrication needs and producing creatively engaging public art. Since its inception, worthless studios has produced two large scale public artworks and has supported artists in a number of different mediums including sculpture, painting, photography and performance. worthlessstudios.org
UAP is one of the world’s leading organizations in art and design consultancy, fabrication and manufacturing. Co-founded by brothers Matthew and Daniel Tobin in 1993, UAP was built upon a mission of extending the capabilities of creatives and collaborators to create objects, spaces and places that transform the world, inspiring and connecting others. UAP offers a range of skills, services, technologies and capabilities that span everything from strategy and concept creation, to design, production and on-site installation. With core skills in curatorship, design and construction, UAP works across all parts of the creative process: from commissioning, concept design and design development, to engineering, fabrication and delivery. UAP delivers bespoke creative works and solutions for the public and private realms. What began as a local family practice has since evolved into a dynamic global network with three key studios and workshops in New York (formerly Polich Tallix, a renowned foundry with a legacy that dates back to 1968) Brisbane and Shanghai, and satellite offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Singapore. uapcompany.com
Senior Account Executive, Cultural Counsel
Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel