An oversized, illuminating lantern is serving as a symbol of hope, brightness and guiding light in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, as the Garment District Alliance unveiled Living Lantern—an inviting, kinetic installation that offers a meditative effect through its mesmerizing movement and changes in color.
Located on the Broadway plazas in the Garment District between 39th and 40th Streets, Living Lantern is free and will be available to the public through February 24th.
“Living Lantern is an entrancing work of art that is bringing a sense of tranquility to the Garment District and truly enhancing the pedestrian experience,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance. “We are so proud to introduce this extraordinary piece of public art to our neighborhood this winter, and we encourage the public to take a moment to enjoy this calming sensory experience while visiting the Garment District.”
Standing at nearly 14 feet tall and stretching 20 feet wide, Living Lantern illustrates the responsiveness of humankind and how people can adapt to change. Designed as an inviting piece of public artwork, the lantern offers a sense of hope and joy, and activates public space in a unique way by combining light, color, and form. As the wind fuels its movements, the structure comes to life, with its outer membranes opening and closing, allowing the light to filter from its core, with its animated light sequences infusing the space with flowing colors.
Living Lantern was created by NEON – a UK-based artistic practice which explores the territory between art, architecture and design – in collaboration with Frankie Boyle, a UK-based visual artist specializing in the language of light as a form of expression, and is powered by WIREFRAME, an international art agency that specializes in the production and distribution of interactive art installations for the public space. The installation was first presented at the World Science Festival and Curiocity in 2021 in Brisbane, Australia, and was installed in Hsinchu City, Taiwan, as part of the Taiwan Light Festival 2021.
Living Lantern is part of Garment District Art on the Plazas, a year-round public art program made possible through the NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program (DOT Art). The Garment District Alliance and DOT Artwork closely to coordinate and install exhibits and individual pieces, which enhance public plazas and make them even more welcoming to New Yorkers and visitors.
“We thank our incredible partners at the Garment District Alliance on their commitment to exhibiting a wide variety of public art in the plazas in partnership with our DOT Art Program.” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We are reimagining public space around New York City, including through the use of beautiful public art. Along Broadway in the Garment District, where we have done so much recent work to make an iconic street even more welcoming and car-free, Living Lantern offers a unique and engaging experience to enjoy in the colder, darker months – highlighting how our public spaces are active and utilized year-round.”
Previous installations have included Passage by Serge Maheu, an interactive art installation comprised of 20 circles of light that formed a pedestrian tunnel on Broadway in 2022; Prismatica by RAW Design in collaboration with ATOMIC3, a series of multi-colored prisms that filled the plazas with reflections and musical sounds in 2021; Impulse by Lateral Office and CS Design, a number of over-sized, illuminated seesaws presented in 2020 that enabled visitors to create their own light show in the heart of Midtown. Sculptural installations have included works by renowned artists such as Chakaia Booker, Xin Song, Del Geist and Patricia Leighton, Kang Muxiang, Seward Johnson, Hacer, and Hung Yi.
Visitors are encouraged to share their experiences with Living Lantern on social media by following and tagging @GarmentDistrictNYC on Instagram, @TheGarmentDistrictNYC on Facebook, and @GarmentDstrctNY on Twitter.
The Garment District is home to diverse business sectors from technology to hospitality and includes thousands of people working in the creative economy, including fine and performing artists, designers, architects, photographers and more than a hundred theaters, galleries, performance spaces and studios.
About the Garment District Alliance
The Garment District Alliance (www.garmentdistrictnyc.com) is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1993 to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Manhattan’s Garment District. Through programs in the areas of streetscape improvements, sanitation and public safety, marketing and promotions, economic development, and community service, the Garment District Alliance supports the neighborhood’s transformation into a modern, 24/7 destination for dining, nightlife, hotels and unique office space. For more information on the Garment District Alliance’s many art initiatives, please visit https://garmentdistrict.nyc/
About the NYCDOT Art Program
The New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program (DOT Art) partners with community-based, nonprofit organizations and professional artists to present temporary public art on NYC DOT property throughout the five boroughs for up to eleven months. Artists transform streets with colorful murals, dynamic projections and eye-catching sculptures. Sidewalks, fences, triangles, medians, bridges, jersey barriers, step streets, public plazas and pedestrianized spaces serve as canvases and foundations for temporary art. Since 2008, DOT Art has produced over 400 temporary artworks citywide. For more information, visitwww.nyc.gov/dotart @nyc_DOT, @nyc_DOTArt