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Bay Parkway

Xin Song

Tree Of Life, 2012

Laminated glass in Mezzanine window

Located in the mezzanine window at the Bay Parkway Station, Tree of Life bridges the art of contemporary photo collage and traditional Chinese paper cut to evoke the community that surrounds the Bay Parkway Station, in a masterwork of precision and grace.

Xin Song began by photographing the busy street scene below the elevated station. Using traditional paper cutting techniques, she transformed the colorful imagery from her photos into an intricate pattern, creating a symmetrical and vibrant flowering tree. This unique work is laminated between thick panes of glass, and can be viewed from two sides. From the outside of the window, a black silhouette appears, creating a graphic filigree reminiscent of Brooklyn’s historic iron work. The interior view, which serves as the focal point upon entering the station mezzanine, is a colorful collage of the contemporary life in the neighborhood. For Song, the subway itself, the surrounding neighborhoods and peoples’ daily movements, are the threads that connect the diverse community.

The complex interplay of Song’s cut paper designs with the color, forms and figures meticulously cut out from the photographs offer riders a visual record to continuously rediscover their surroundings. The pattern and techniques in Tree of Life will speak to all, including the many Asian-American families who have transformed the community in recent years.

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