Harmony, a semi-abstract depiction of people holding hands, appears like an emblem on the stark, austere Second Street facade of the Modern Food Market. The sculpture's theme--peace and friendship--relates to both the congregation of shoppers in the market as well as to the meetings and activities at the nearby Japanese American Community & Cultural Center.
Sawako Shintani derived the composition of Harmony from her earlier series, Mother and Child. Her proposal was selected by the Community Redevelopment Agency and the owners of the market over other submissions, in part, because it combines modern and traditional elements. After being told where her work was to be installed on the market's exterior, Shintani worked with architectural drawings to determine the size and scale of her piece. She finalized her design in consultation with the owners before preparing a 1/5 scale plaster model of the work. Shintani then made a full-size clay model for use in the bronze casting. Harmony was cast by the sand-cast method in three sections at a foundry in Japan. Finally, Shintani added texture to the surface of the work before shipping it to Los Angeles for installation.
The text has been provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, December 1997.
Back to Little Tokyo.