There’s a brand new art installation making waves in Hell’s Kitchen. ‘Ringing Waves’, a mural on the bridge on West 45th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, officially opened last month, on November 25. The temporary installation will remain there for 11 months, before making way for a new art piece to be showcased on the public artspace.

“Ringing Waves” by Asae Soya on W45th Street. Photo: Phil O’Brien.

Artist Asae Soya, from Japan, says the piece represents the dense layers of sound within the city: “When I arrived in New York City, the most impressive part was the full spectrum of sounds everywhere. This work visualizes the various sound waves that pervade this city, such as people’s voices, traffic noises, and music.” In addition, the different levels within the piece are representative of the many facets of NYC’s melting pot community. “The wavy forms in this work look different depending on your visual perspective,” Soya explains. “If you look at the purple, it seems to be at the forefront of a white backdrop. But if you look at the white or the pink, the purple seems to act as the backdrop. These different perspectives symbolize this city, where different senses of values coexist. The sound waves circulate within the city, while also generating a powerful energy.”

Soya was given the opportunity to create this piece through the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program, which partners with community organizations and artists to reinvigorate public spaces such as plazas, fences, diners and sidewalks. Soya says public reaction has been “great”, even while creating the piece. “As I was working, many people who walked by gave me positive feedback. Although it was a really cold condition
to work in, I was encouraged by people so much. I often got asked, ‘what are you expressing through this painting?’ which made me realize the level of interest in art is really high in this city.”

This article originally appeared in Issue 2 of W42ST magazine in December 2014.

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