February 13 2019

Tofer Chin: LA's Golden Age

Los Angeles-Art
As you arrive to The Standard, Downtown LA you should feel a sense of calm wash over you. At least that’s what sculptor and large-scale artist Tofer Chin, who painted the latest edition of the 6th Street mural, intended when he chose to base his work in a muted, golden peach tone.

“We’re in downtown and there’s a lot of traffic, a lot of things going on, a lot of music, just a lot,” Chin told The Standard. He regularly uses color in his work; not just for aesthetics but also the possible psychological repercussions it can have. “So, I wanted the piece to have this calming effect to it as well as an energizing effect. I don’t want it to agitate people as they drive down the street—that’s not my goal for this. I just really wanted it to feel like it belonged here.”

...it also has a symbolic meaning; a “Golden Age” in Los Angeles culture

Titled “Progression,” Chin’s latest site-specific installation, viewable through June 2019 in Downtown LA, is a joint venture with Frieze Art Fair in collaboration with LIFEWTR. “I like to think of my murals as being an extension of the existing architecture,” he said. For this, that meant turning the golden hue sunlight that sometimes bathes the surrounding area into a more permanent fixture. “I think of my pieces as architectural shifts; they are taking the existing architecture and cracking it open a bit and then opening it up to this world of possibilities.” And while this rendition uses color that references the visual "golden hour" when the area is soaked in a light perfect for photos, it also has a symbolic meaning; a “Golden Age” in Los Angeles culture. That ongoing age is being stamped now with the world-renowned contemporary art fair, Frieze, touching down in the West Coast hub for the first time.

The Standard

“I’m born and raised in Los Angeles so I’ve seen and witnessed the growth of the city beyond just the entertainment industry,” Chin, who was recently named one of 18 artists to win the the prestigious California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, said. “You have fashion here, you have art here and I feel like Frieze coming here is, like, marking this point in time where now, we can all look at LA as a major player within all of these industries.” And Chin is a major player within that, set to do a temporary mural installation at LAX that goes up in April as well as a permanent installation in Crenshaw at a sports complex that encompasses two murals and a multi-functional sculptural installation. That project, which will likely debut in 2020, is being done in partnership with the City of LA. 

“So, this mural is really celebrating all of those upward shifts and possibilities that Los Angeles has to offer during its Golden Hour,” he said.

The Standard
To learn more about Tofer Chin, please visit his website www.toferchin.com or go follow him on Instagram
Writer
Mikelle Street
Photographer
Martha Galvan