Metro’s “Street Life” in Koreatown


Earlier this month, Metro released the eighteenth in a series of posters commissioned by Metro Art focusing on the communities that Metro services. This poster of Koreatown is actually a photo collage by by local artist Kyungmi Shin that seeks to capture a day in the life of Koreatown. From Metro’s press release:

As seen through the eyes of Shin, Koreatown is
depicted as a photo collage of bustling commerce with storefronts,
malls, street life and urban signage that collectively provides a one
day snapshot of this distinct community.

First, let me say the poster is visually stunning and a pretty impressive work of art. I just have one small complaint: For all the talk of "street life" in the release and on the poster, I count a total of one pedestrian and no cyclists. I agree that Koreatown offers some of the best street life in the city, but I find that life in the skateboarders that hang out at the corner of 4th and Manhattan Plaza, the pedestrians streaming in and out of the Wilshire/Western Metro stop and at the outdoor Korean Market; not in strip malls and rows of cars stuck in traffic.

A full sized version of the poster is available here.

  • Will Campbell

    But it’s an interesting change up from the artistic and graphic renderings I’ve seen in past posters in the series. But indeed, that looks like Koreatown from the perspective of being one of the last people left in a deserted city. Bustling? Uhhh…

  • I actually really like this poster from an artistic standpoint because it is different from the ones Metro had put out in their community series. I even have to admit I didn’t notice the lack of people on the streets until it was pointed out to me by Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson on his recent trip to L.A.

  • Raul

    This poster mesmerized me on my ride to Union Station. My corner of 8th and Oxford is even on there–and Ma Dang Gook Soo. You’re right, though. More of the diverse people of Koreatown would have been nice.

  • Unfortunately it looks like he took the pictures from behind the wheels of a car, no?

  • How interesting, on my visit to L.A. two weeks ago, I was in the Metro with my friend Diana and said the EXACT same thing….except I couldn’t even find the ONE pedestrian.

    Maybe it is was Waldo?

  • It’s actually kinda sad that the onramp takes up such a large chunk of this collage, yet I dont’t think the 10 even goes through Koreatown. The LA times seems to agree, they think K-town stops at Olympic (link below).

    The lack of pedestrians in the picture is especially strange considering that Metro sponsored it. Though I suppose that if they gave directions to the artists, these pictures would end up being more propaganda than art.


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