Local Artist To Create LA Riots Memorial

by Jessica Yoon

Local artist Maggie Hazen has undertaken a project to create an art memorial in honor of the 20th anniversary of the LA Riots.

The memorial, commissioned by Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD) and the SAIGU campaign, will be a modular installation consisting of approximately 6,000 miniature and individually crafted plaster vessels filled with basic food ingredients, which will represent the occupation and unification of the Los Angeles community.

“I just want to bring something beautiful to something that’s been destroyed,” Hazen told iamKoreAm.com in a phone interview. “I think it will speak to the community in terms of the picture of harmony and unity. That’s what I really want people to look out for.”

The 22-year-old recent graduate of Biola University said the program’s manager, Bonnie Kim, was familiar with her previous work and approached her to do the memorial. Hazen said she realized her work was all about mapping geographical regions of human conflict.

“The motivation is kind of what is the essence of a human being and what is our shared point of common interest?” Hazen said. “I realized that it was food, and so I’m using flour, rice, and cornmeal as three main food staples that kind of represent a wide brush stroke of ethnic diversity and something that we share in common.”

The memorial will also invite the direct involvement of the community by having a select group of 25 to 30 representatives who were directly affected by the riots to take part in creating the installation. The entire process will also be filmed and made into a short documentary featuring the stories of the representatives and the building process of the project.

The memorial placement will be part of a three-day event leading up to the Art Show opening on April 28, 2012 and the L.A. Riots commemorative service on April 29, 2012.

“I’m really just looking forward to seeing the community’s reaction and how they see the piece and I really want to hear what people are saying,” said Hazen. “I’m looking forward to different cultures to shake hands and come to some conclusions and some peace

(Originally published on www.iamkoream.com)

Visit Hazen’s KickStarter page if you are interested in donating to this important project. For more info on the artist, go to maggiehazen.com.