Chinatown’s Metro Station

Oct 29, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Artist Chusien Chang packed a punch with her amazing design aesthetic, as you can see from the photo above. The Chinatown Metro station– set in an open-air ambiance–creates a compelling effect; it’s amazing visually and physically—both as you experience it, as well as see it.


Relaxing under the Subway

According to the artist, Chusien Chang, the goal of her installation was to “address the historical development of Chinatown through an overlay of Eastern and Western cultures past and present.” Source: Wheels of Change

Underneath the station’s top tier, is a small and shaded seating area, which provides an area to relax before or after a train ride.

At the heart of the station’s design ethos, is what Chang called, “I-Ching Dial:”


Large Compass

In its center lies this multi colored, hued, and numbered compass. This was inlaid and intended to be a reminder that the Chinese people originally invented this vital navigation tool, as well as providing a reference point for Gold Line passengers.



Moving outward from the compass are four rings of different material, each divided into 64 sections. The corresponding sections of the rings say the same thing in different languages. The ring closest to the compass has an English text, the next ring has inlaid Chinese characters, the third ring has the I-Chingone of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts, hexagram symbols– and the outer-most ring has its numerical equivalent.

With its amalgamation of design, wide ranging community, Chinatown’s Metro station is a steady and constant memoire, what the government and a neighborhood can achieve when working together.

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3 Responses to “Chinatown’s Metro Station”

  1. D. Travis North says:

    I love that last shot. It’s a tad under-exposed…but the composition is perfect. You really learn a lot about the I-Ching Dial, even without the description and the previous image. The materials, and the textures are excellent, and your photo captures it well.

    As for the destination (sorry to get off focus there for a minute), I admire your ability to take normal everyday places – places people might take for granted – and introduce them to the world that makes us all want to look around a little bit more. I have never been to LA – as we’ve discussed before – but I really find myself looking about the public spaces more ever since starting to follow your site.
    D. Travis North´s last blog ..Be An Ignorant Photographer Again And Learn To Be Great My ComLuv Profile


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @D. Travis North, Wow, Travis, that’s quite a compliment. Thank you. That is indeed what I hope people are able to do, take a closer look at what surrounds them.

    Since I started this site, I’ve discovered so many places, and my to-do list just gets longer and longer. It’s really amazing.

    And each place I go, I want to spend hours looking at everything, seeing new things around every corner.

    I couldn’t be happier that you’ve discovered a few new vantage points while you’re “Travelin’ Local.” :)


  2. Los Angeles State Historical Park | Travelin' Local says:

    [...] industrial section of Los Angeles, is the Los Angeles State Historical Park. Located close to the Chinatown Metro, it’s an open space paradise, especially for walkers and joggers. With the cityscape right [...]

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