Korean American artist paints Chicago mural at 1,000 feet

Korean American artist paints Chicago mural at 1,000 feetKorean American artist paints Chicago mural at 1,000 feet
via katiechungart
Ryan General
20 days ago
Muralist Katie Chung put a colorful, neighborhood-focused spin on an iconic Chicago tourist attraction.
Key points:
  • Chung’s sprawling new mural, “Locals Only,” adorns 360 Chicago’s 94th floor observation deck.
  • The hand-painted work highlights Chicago‘s neighborhoods across seven windows, 1,030 feet above Michigan Avenue.
  • Chung drew inspiration from her family history and the city’s vibrant communities.
 
About Chung:
  • Chung is a second-generation Korean American artist who grew up in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.
  • Her artistic background is deeply rooted in textiles, influenced by her childhood spent in her mother’s dry cleaning and tailoring shop.
  • She holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied design, printmaking and bookbinding.
  • Chung’s work often incorporates bright, traditional Korean color palettes, reflecting her heritage.
The details
  • “Locals Only” is painted directly onto the windows of the 94th floor Cloud Walk room at 360 Chicago (formerly the John Hancock Center).
  • The mural features a checkered floor filled with Chicago stars and windows illustrating scenes of different neighborhoods. The creation process involved approximately 200 hours painting tiles in her studio and 100 hours painting windows on-site.
  • Chung faced weather challenges working outdoors at such a height: “There were days where it snowed, it rained, but there were also really beautiful sunny days and definitely windy.”
  • The mural project offered a contrast to Chung’s usual work, which includes textiles and pieces exploring her Korean American heritage.
  • “This is about 200 tiles…I was just treating it like a full-time job,” Chung says about the labor-intensive project.
  • 360 Chicago visitors can now experience Chung’s artwork as part of the attraction’s recent renovations.
What’s next:
  • Without providing specific details, Chung has hinted at a new downtown Chicago mural project in the works.
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