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  • CRA/LA’S commitment to public art began over 40 years ago.
  • Over 200 art projects in 21 redevelopment project areas have been completed to date.
  • California Plaza developers met their art requirement by building a $23 million facility for the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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 \\Commonspot\internet-site\images\bullet1 Art Projects
Carl Cheng
Water Lens Tower

Project Area:  Chinatown
Project:  Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Center
Project Location:  765 W. College Street
Project Type:  Developer Initiated


Like a mirage, this towering four-legged fountain looks over the Harbor freeway from the parking lot corner of the Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Center.  Painted white and made of steel, the fountain drips water from the top through two lenses into a lighted concrete pool at the bottom.  The lenses are made of layers of acrylic and glass with water pressed in the middle.
Image of Sculpture

Artist Profile

Carl Cheng’s public artworks often combine technology with natural elements such as sand, water, and illumination.  Cheng notes that his sculptural installations and public art projects “result from an attitude that says, ‘We, humans, are not adversaries of nature but are a part of nature.’”  He has exhibited throughout the United States, China, England, and Japan.  He received a Los Angeles Business Council Beautification Award for his Metro Green Line Marine/Redondo Station project and the 1990 J. Paul Getty Visual Arts Fellowship.  Cheng is a well-respected advocate for public art.  On July 31, 2000, he published an editorial in the Los Angeles Times entitled “Public Art: More Than a Pretty Distraction” in which he described the challenges and overwhelming rewards of public art.  Carl Cheng received his MA from the University of California, Los Angeles.