Press Release #21-022
Friday, June 25, 2021
Contact: Scott Gastel/Lolita Avila (212) 839-4850
Wellington Chen, Executive Director, Chinatown BID/Partnership, email@example.com or 917-577-7003
Daniela Fernandez, Artist Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-318-5659
NYC DOT, the Chinatown BID, and Artist Dasic Fernandez Unveil New 4,800 Square Feet Asphalt Mural on Doyers Street in Chinatown, Manhattan
In partnership with the Chinatown Business Improvement District (BID) and Artist Dasic Fernandez, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced the installation of a 4,800 square foot asphalt art mural on Doyers Street between Pell Street and Bowery Street in Manhattan. Commissioned through DOT’s Art Program, this project builds on Mayor de Blasio’s “State of the City” commitment to bring beautifully designed public spaces to the top 33 neighborhoods across NYC hit the hardest by COVID-19. These new spaces help support local small businesses, foster community ties, and provide space for arts, culture, and programming.
Artist Dasic Fernandez’s mural entitled Rice Terraces aims to promote community engagement on the Open Street and become an extension of the local businesses’ space. The vibrant 44 color mural design draws inspiration from Chinese rice cultivation terraces, one of the most common landscapes seen throughout China.
"Over the past year, New Yorkers have learned the precious value of shared open spaces, and projects like these will be crucial in the city’s recovery," said NYC DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Edward Pincar. "Doyers Street is a heavily trafficked corridor filled with wonderful storefronts, restaurants, and now this beautiful artwork. This new mural will revitalize and reactivate local commerce as well as encourage residents and visitors to immerse themselves in the historical culture of this community. We thank the Chinatown BID for their tireless efforts and artist Dasic Fernandez for his speedy work and creative vision."
Fernandez’s unique, abstract landscape will help visitors navigate through the winding street and create a welcoming and uplifting atmosphere for local businesses and pedestrians utilizing the Open Street. While the world-renowned artist has installed numerous asphalt murals internationally, in cities such as Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Santiago, Chile, this is his first asphalt mural in New York City. The artist and his small team completed the mural in a record time of four days. The mural will be installed for up to 11 months, and the Chinatown BID is responsible for the maintenance.
“New York City’s country-leading Open Streets program keeps on getting better thanks to partnerships with local organizations and artists,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “As the program continues to grow and develop, I hope we utilize as many partnerships like this as possible. Congratulations to the DOT, Chinatown Partnership, and Dasic Fernandez on this successful transformation.”
“Doyer Street might be a short and narrow street in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown community, but it is rich in culture and history,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “I was proud to have renamed the U.S. Post Office on this street to Mabel Lee a few years ago to honor her legacy. Today, with this beautiful mural we pay homage to Doyer Street’s creative flair and the community’s resiliency from the pandemic. I commend the Chinatown Partnership for their advocacy and hard work during one of our nation’s most challenging times. Rice Terraces is a phenomena of man-made wonder born out of the perseverance and fortitude of our Chinese immigrants’ ancestors. The same spirit will ensure our community resurrect and flourish.”
“Activating our public spaces is an essential step towards revitalizing our communities and local businesses,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh. “Dasic Fernandez’s display on Doyers Street is a vibrant addition to the Chinatown neighborhood, and I look forward to more DOT art initiatives in my district:”
“We used the Anamorfism technique to be able to create a 3D experience. If people look from the corner of Pell Street or Bowery, one can see how the shapes transform into volumes,” said Artist Dasic Fernandez. “I wanted to create a design that can be integrated in its environment.”
“We are very impressed by the speed in which this artistic team was able to accomplish this mural, allowing that much more time for the community and the public to enjoy this great outdoor setting,” said Executive Director of the Chinatown BID/Partnership Wellington Chen. “This colorful and delightful tapestry is also reflective of how food and rice have historically been grown in our culture by terracing in difficult terrains and why the greeting of ‘Have You Eaten Yet?’ is our normal way of greeting one another. Now, it is time to invite everyone to come on down!”
Formerly part of DOT’s Seasonal Streets program, Doyers Street has been the site of several murals since 2018. This project is Doyers Street’s third mural commissioned by the DOT Art and Public Space Units. As a part of the DOT Art Program, the agency collaborates with community-based, nonprofit organizations to commission artists to design and install temporary, site-responsive artwork on NYC DOT property for up to 11 months. DOT Art pursues unique project sites across all five boroughs and explores new ways to collaborate with a diverse body of artists and partners each year. Over the past 12 years, DOT Art has produced over 300 temporary artworks citywide. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dotart @nyc_DOT, @nyc_DOTArt
About NYCDOT Public Space Unit: The Public Space Unit is responsible for empowering New Yorkers to reimagine and utilize their city streets as public space through a series of application-based programs. These programs include Open Streets, Street Seats, Shared Streets, and Pedestrian Plazas. In addition, the Public Space Unit works closely with community stakeholders on the design, development, programming, and ongoing management of these important pedestrian and cyclist assets.
About the Chinatown Partnership: Chinatown District Management Association, Inc (BID/Partnership) grew out of the ashes of 911, becoming the 66th Business Improvement District out of the 76 BIDs currently operating in New York City and the 10th Chinatown in North America to be part of the global BID self-help movement. The Chinatown BID provides supplemental services such as graffiti removal, sanitation, snow curb cut clearance, and other public infrastructure maintenance.
About Dasic Fernandez: Dasic Fernandez, is a Chilean artist with 15 years of recognized national and international trajectory. His works can be seen in Chile, United States, Jamaica, Saudi Arabia, and Canada, to name a few of the most important countries in urban art. Today, working with a multidisciplinary team, Dasic develops the technique of high traffic floor painting and large-scale wall painting. The goal of his works is to create a unique and memorable experience. Dasic uses art as a tool to remind us of who we are by connecting with the essence of being human. www.dasicfernandez.com @dasicfernandez