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Jane Tsong

Our River: city floodplain

Jane Tsong.jpg
"Our river water is a living archive of our urban lives, and is never the same twice. Even if you don’t know of it, it already knows you. It is a place where traces of all of us in this great city intermingle, even if you haven’t been there in person or even set foot in it."

Jane Tsong, artist

Photo courtesy of the artist



Jane Tsong is an artist whose performative works in and about public spaces explore the interleaving of urban life with nature, past, present, and future, and collaborative aspects of city making. Her artmaking investigates and provokes, inviting alternative futures by asking “what if….?”.


Her permanent public artwork for the City of Seattle "no beginning no end/circle the earth/blessed water/blood of life‚ air help us bless with each breath all creatures of land, sea and air… ” bestows blessings on the air, water, and biosolids treated by the Brightwater wastewater treatment plant before being released back into the environment.

She has written about historical streams in Northeast Los Angeles and Pasadena on myriadunnamedstreams and for the blog LA Creek Freak, and about urban food and foraging.


Whether a trickle or a torrent, the way water moves expresses of the same dynamic forces that create the sinuous shape of rivers big and small, or the carving of great canyons over millennia. Those same forces also manifest in the sound of water, whether it flows through an open streambed of is confined in a concrete pipe. The artwork presents three recordings of water that flows under our feet in different parts of our city.  

1)     The North Branch, which collects the rainwater that falls on much of Highland Park, which the joins to the Arroyo Seco and then the Los Angeles River

2)     Sacatela Creek, which collects water from parts of Koreatown and Silverlake. This is one of the Creeks that collects the water that flows under our current location at Shatto Gallery.

3)     Nichols Creek, which flows under the West Hollywood and contributes to the water that the basin under Beverly Hills, La Cienega and La Brea Tar Pits area

Besides the sound that can be heard in the galleries, live stream radio events of sound from under the city will be scheduled, which may be accessed from any device with an internet connection.


More information about the live stream can be found at

The current schedules of the upcoming live stream events are:

North Branch 
Flowing under Highland Park all day all night

Saturday, August 26, 11am-12pm

Sacatela Creek
Sounds from underneath Silverlake, Echo Park, and Koreatown 
Sunday, September 3, 11am-12pm

Nichols Canyon Creek
The sound that disappears under Hollywood Boulevard.

Saturday, September 9, 11am-12pm


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