Xin Song

Artist who used traditional Chinese paper cutting to create public art in Bay Parkway subway station

This interview was conducted and recorded in Mandarin Chinese. Read Ruonan Zheng's transcript and translation below:


Xin Song is the creator of Tree of Life, a public art piece installed in the mezzanine window of the Bay Parkway subway station (D Line) in Bensonhurst. "I wanted to incorporate the photos of the lives I photographed around this neighborhood into the shape of a tree. The place is a new immigrant hub. I am one of them," says the artist, who moved to New York from Beijing in 2000.


"Every time you go to a new place it’s a lot like a tree growing roots, blooming and bearing fruit." About 30 percent of the population in the Bay Parkway area is Chinese immigrants, she says. Using traditional Chinese paper cutting techniques, Xin Song transformed two years of her photo documentation of storefronts, signage, people, places, and street names into a collage, which is laminated between panes of glass.


Commissioned by the MTA Arts for Transit, the artwork was installed in the historic station in 2012. The artist talks about public art's impact on the community and describes some of her other paper cut pieces including Cutting Dreams (2012), which depicts the Statue of Liberty, and Elephant Hotel, from the 2008 exhibition Coney Island Maybe.

该作品获MTA纽约捷运局艺术会委托,于2012年安装在历史悠久的车站。艺术家谈论公共艺术对社区的影响,并描述了她的其他剪纸作品,包括(梦境剪裁2012)描绘自由女神像,2008康尼岛展览的大象酒店(Elephant Hotel)。