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HappyHappy

‘It’s like being inside a 99 Cent Store,’ said the person beside me. From a distance, the installation looked like a dazzling display of Chinese lanterns. But once you got up close, the colorful lanterns became distinctly familiar shapes. Colanders, storage boxes, bowls, cups, baskets, plates and even saucepans. All plastic. This was HappyHappy.

Currently on display in the forecourt of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), HappyHappy is the work of Choi Jeong-Hwa. One of 12 Korean contemporary artists showing their work there this summer as part of Your Bright Future, Choi is known as the Father of Korean Pop Art.

For the exhibition, he has created three temporary outdoor installations. The most conspicuous is Welcome (pictured bottom), in which he stretched swaths of brightly colored fabric across the museum’s Ahmanson Building.

Approaching from Wilshire Boulevard, you’ll see the first of two works called HappyHappy in the Grand Entrance. Strings of plastic containers, as described and pictured above. They’re great for kids, for running around, for playing hide and seek. They reminded me of a bazaar, albeit a very plastic one.

The second work (above and below) is across the park near Sixth Street and is a work in progress. It’s made up of five sections of chain-link fence, on which visitors can hang their own plastic containers. And some have taken this invitation very seriously – hanging sunglasses, flip-flops and even toy cars. We hung a Trader Joe’s tomato container (all we had to hand) but will be back with something more vibrant soon. No doubt from the 99 Cent Store.

HappyHappy..............................(LACMA7.jpg)

Our bright future? I just want to say one word to you. Plastics. RM

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