A new art exhibition has just arrived to downtown Los Angeles. Created by artist Simon Birch (with the help of 16 interdisciplinary artists from China, Hong Kong, the US, the UK, and Canada), The 14th Factory is an independent, non-profit initiative that consists of large-scale multi-media experiences that Birch hopes will create dialogue and change for social impact.
The project has been six years in the making and was originally planned to take place in Hong Kong, then New York, before finally settling in an empty warehouse in DTLA. Outlined in an exciting narrative of a hero’s quest, the exhibition takes viewers through 14 different rooms, or parts, to the iconic hero’s story, i.e., the call to action, the journey into another world, the battle, the reward, the ending transformation. Think about the storylines of Star Wars or Harry Potter and the monumental scenes that define the movies. Now, imagine you’re the hero of story as you take a walk through each room of The 14th Factory.
I got the opportunity to preview The 14th Factory twice before it opened and each time I was left with a different experience. The 14 rooms are as follows:
1. Standard (The Call to Adventure)
This is the iconic start to the storyline that grounds the viewer to the location of where the story will unfold.
2. The Dormouse (The Threshold)
A video projection reminiscent of falling down the dark rabbit hole will transport to a new world.
3. The Meteor (The Test)
Massive jagged shards confirm that you have definitely entered the new world and there’s no turning back.
4. The Barmecide Feast (The Inner Cave)
Inside The Meteor is a replica set of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and upon entering, you’ll realize the room is familiar yet peculiar all at once.
5. Garlands (The New World)
Inspired by the landscape of the moon during the Apollo space missions, this urban garden is a place of rest in the story, tranquil yet ominous.
6. Jubilee (Avatars and Demons)
This gallery is a portrait hall of those who came before us, in defeat and in triumphs.
7. Clear Air Turbulence (The Portent)
A massive installation of salvaged airplane tails and wings take over an outdoor courtyard, looking oddly enough like dinosaur bones or a shipwreck graveyard.
8. This Brutal House (Allies in the Ordeal)
Solitary humans moving in slow motion through the air illustrate the universal theme of falling and flying in life.
9. The Crusher (The Talisman)
The hundreds of salvaged pitchforks hang upside down menacingly and are all marked by colored rings representing the times in history marked by resistance and revolution.
10. The Inhumans (The Ordeal)
We arrive at the battle scene where 300 men fight endlessly inside an industrial building, making us question: Who are they? What side are they on? What are they fighting for?
11. The Inevitable (The Final Challenge and Rebirth)
A red Ferrari races, spins, and crashes at full speed, exploding into a million pieces that you can see up-close in the adjacent room.
12. Hypercaine (The Reward)
Heroes who have made it this far are rewarded with a room of crowns, but are they treasured trophies or another burden to bear?
13. Tannhauser (The Road Back)
As if you were falling or floating mid-air, you’ll make your way back home by traveling through this landscape of buildings in an endless loop.
14. The Marvel (Transformation)
A spark of light explodes into a swirling star, signifying a transformation of you as the Marvel of the story.
Of course, art is always open to interpretation and this was based on my personal experience! Ready to experience The 14th Factory yourself? The exhibition is on view until April 30, 2017. To purchase tickets and learn more about opening hours and admission, visit The 14th Factory.