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Los Angeles River
In his video Chang Kyun Kim releases a river that has been forced into severe concrete platforms, in a human attempt to control nature. Now that LA is getting dry, new scenarios will bring it alive.
In his video project Chang Kyun Kim observes what has become of the Los Angeles River, that goes from the Simi Hills to Long Beach. Once a natural landscape with plants and wildlife, it was forced into concrete after a devastating flood in 1938, caused by Pacific storms. Today it is associated with graffiti, pollution and Hollywood action movies.
“I started this project originally as a photography series three years ago”, Chang Kyun Kim explains. “It’s a dead river or merely a flow of water containing industrial discharge. I see endless blocks of concrete and the unpleasant odor causes me some headache. Since the concrete landscape is so straight and uniform, I get no sense how far I’ve come and it’s eerily quiet. I’ve seen only a few people wandering around. The shallow water in strange color doesn’t seem to flow at all.”
After the extreme droughts that Californa has experienced in the past years, a 20 year-long revitalization plan led by non-profit organizations and government agencies is underway to change the whole landscape of the city, bringing back nature and offering much improved environment for people and wildlife as well as new opportunities for many industries.