Spark follows renowned artist and architect Maya Lin as she plans, constructs, and installs her sculptural work for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The site-specific piece is a topographical imagining of the San Francisco Bay. It is placed on the western facade of the new building designed by Renzo Piano, which is set to open to the public in September 2008.
Lin became well known in 1981, when as a senior at Yale University, she entered the national competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Her submission was selected from thousands, and her stark, non-representational design became an important landmark for a grieving nation. Since then, Lin has designed several other memorials, including the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Women’s Table at Yale University.
In Lin’s recent artwork, she has explored new ways of looking at the landscape, utilizing topographical maps, sonar imaging, and other scientific data. It was this interest in the natural sciences, as well as a life-long passion for environmental conservation, that prompted Lin to respond to the call for proposals issued by the San Francisco Arts Commission and the California Academy of Sciences in 2006. This public art installation for the CAS will be the first permanent work by New York-based Lin in the City of San Francisco.