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Brief Published: 27 Sep 2012

Taza Nishu’s High-Rise Pop-Up Lounge, New York

Extra

New Yorkers now have the opportunity to take a considerably closer look at the 70ft-high, 120-year-old statue of Christopher Columbus in Central Park, thanks to Berlin-based Japanese artist Tazu Nishi’s latest installation. 

Aiming to address the fact that public spaces in many cities are becoming increasingly endangered at the mercy of private developments, Nishi’s installation – which was two years in the planning – wraps a hotel room around the historical monument. Set upon scaffolding, the 810 sq ft lounge is only accessible by climbing six flights of stairs. The statue stands in the centre.

Interior features include pink toile wallpaper emblazoned with American pop culture icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Mickey Mouse (designed by Nishi himself), hard wood flooring and retro soft furnishings provided by US department store Bloomingdales. Visitors, 25 of which can enter the space at any give time, can also sit on a couch right at the foot of Columbus and even tune into US cable channel CNN on a giant flat-screen TV. 

Following the installation’s main run, the work, which was commissioned by New York-based non-profit organisation Public Art Fund, will host a team of preservationists who will restore the statue. 

This is not the first such installation for Nishi, who has built a reputation by using historical landmarks in this way. Previous projects include the Villa Victoria, a transient hotel around a statue of Queen Victoria for the Liverpool Biennal in the UK (2002); a pop-up hotel in Ghent, Belgium (2012), constructed around the city’s historical clock tower; and another moored to the Merlion statue in Singapore. 

Those wanting to visit the space can reserve free tickets online via www.publicartfund.org. It will be open until the November 18 2012.

For more information on Nishi’s installations and the benefits of pop-up hospitality as a commercial venture, see the report Pop-up Hotels.

Tazu Nishi 

Public Art Fund

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