San Francisco-based Kota Ezawa rebuilds a side view of the Seaside Heights boardwalk, which was devastated during Hurricane Sandy, in YBCA’s Third Street Courtyard. Boardwalks themselves hold a special place in the American imagination. In the aftermath of the storm’s destruction, the image of the recreated amusement park evokes a sense of melancholy for a form of entertainment endangered by rising seawaters and unpredictable weather patterns. Titled Boardwalk, this bold architectural structure is transformed—the amusement park becomes a sculpture, and a courtyard becomes an amusement park— revealing the shared visual and experiential elements between these two environments. Restoring the boardwalk by proxy, the project, in the artist’s words, acts as a type of "visual disaster relief."
Kota Ezawa often reworks images from popular culture and art history, making them simple yet recognizable. He has frequently addressed the idea of the "remake" in past animations and drawings that reproduce existing videos, films, or photographs; Boardwalk extends this thread in his practice to the areas of sculpture, architecture, and public life.