Part map, part artwork, part public art scavenger hunt, Wayfinding: 100 NYC Public Sculptures turns a viewer’s journey toward a sculpture into an artwork of its own. The temporary installation consists of directional signs and maps bearing black-and-white icons of public sculptures, paired with the distance to each from the Queens Museum at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park.

The project was conceived by U.S.-based Thai artist Bundith Phunsombatlert, who researched every public sculpture in New York City before curating his list of 100, drawing each and calculating distances with GPS coordinates. The results were printed on aluminum signs and mounted onto 99-inch-tall posts, which were placed in groups of six in several of New York’s high-traffic parks. There are four clusters in Manhattan and one in each of the other boroughs.

With Wayfinding, Phunsombatlert invited the audience “to participate, to feel, to think, and to build their own experience.” Through his art practice, he hopes “to connect with other people and discover something about my position in the world by engaging a diversity of perceptions, uncovering cultural meaning as it affects our day-to-day lives.”

The installation ran from May through November 2014. A map is online at www.wayfindingNYC.com.

Suzanne Lindgren studied art history and theory in Vancouver, British Columbia, and in New York City. She is now a freelance writer and reporter living in rural Minnesota. Public art is her favorite kind of art, especially the renegade varieties.

From Public Art Review #51, where this article appeared within “Artography” as “The Journey is the Destination.”
Purchase original print issue