Installation Simulates An NYC Subway Ride, But Better


Designer Garson Yu creates a multi-sensory journey that tells the store of New York City.

Laura Feinstein
  • 14 june 2013

If you’ve ever been to NYC, you know riding the subway isn’t exactly a joy. Between the overcrowding, and in summer: the exotic smells, most true New Yorkers try to spend as little time as possible with the MTA. That’s why credit must given to multimedia designer Garson Yu, who recently transformed New York’s famous Pier 57 into a high-energy, interactive subway ride from Elmhurst, to Coney Island and beyond. Called T.I.N.Y. (The Interactive New York ), Yu offers visitors an exciting sensory journey through the NYC underground.  Yu, whose impressive resume includes motion graphics work on The Walking Dead and 300 (among many others), wants viewers to walk away with “an immersive experience of sound and sight.” Recently when we spoke to Yu, he told us a little bit more about the conceptualization of T.I.N.Y., as well as his artistic process.

In creating the installation, Yu hoped T.I.N.Y allow visitors:

[A] Fun interaction with the video, and the ability to express themselves with their own voice. I also hope to connect with the viewer on a more personal emotional level. The abstract imagery in the video are based on subjects that I remember from the 80’s when I was in NYC. I recreated those moments from my memory and put them in the context of a moving train. At the beginning of my career, I saw myself as a little boy in a big city looking to catch a train. I didn’t feel that I could catch it in my art career and I had to leave NYC so I could try to catch another train. In sharing my memories with others I hope it connects with them and makes them think of memories of their own.

When we asked about how working on an installation differed from working on a film, he replied thoughtfully:

I still see my installation like working on a movie. I always like to stay with the narrative. Storytelling. Only story will give soul to an art installation. When I work on a movie I design and create content that is contained within a picture frame. But for an installation, I deal with the environment and deal with the physicality of the object and space. Viewers walk in a physical space over time. To choreograph video images on different screens and connect them all to complete a narrative is a challenging task. I guess working on a movie is one screen but what I did with T.I.N.Y. is 8 screens synchronized together to connect a story. It is a different thing.

Though Yu still continuously finds inspiration in the sights and sounds around him, he’s now working on a 3D mapped project of Hollywood that seems to be taking up much of his time.

For those interest in visiting, T.I.N.Y will be on display at the Pier 57 marina space till June 16th.

While Yu’s installation will only be viewable for one more week, a pop-up market at the marina, open all summer, will feature Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Butcher’s Daughter, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, Cold Process Coffee, Soludos Espadrilles and Grey Area providing a nice foodie haven in an area of New York notorious for its slim dining choices, but excellent riverfront views.

Click through to see more images from the event:

Garson Yu/ yU+co


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