Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation Unveils a New, Site-Specific Art Commission at Barclays Center by Tavares Strachan
Brooklyn, NY — October 23, 2021 — The Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation unveiled, Belong / Brooklyn, a large-scale, site-specific neon installation by Tavares Strachan. Beginning today, October 23, the work will be on long-term view at the entrance of Barclays Center, atop the Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center Station complex, and will serve as an affirmation of belonging as well as a call to unity in the heart of Brooklyn.
The Social Justice Fund, which works to improve economic mobility and close racial gaps in education, health, and wealth, commissioned the work in part to reflect Barclays Center’s role as a hub for community activism and the continued fight for racial equity, and to honor the risks taken by Brooklynites—and all New Yorkers—who demand better for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. The Foundation is also supporting a borough-wide post-pandemic resurgence through its EXCELerate program, which bridges the credit and capital gap for BIPOC small business owners.
“Brooklyn is one of our country’s great cultural centers, and we strive to celebrate and preserve the diversity, energy and creativity that makes it such a magical place to work and live,” said Clara Wu Tsai, Founder of the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation. “We know that inequity is one of the greatest threats to the diversity we need for our city to thrive, and we hope that this work serves as a constant reminder that no matter who you are or where you come from, you belong here.”
Strachan’s practice exists at the intersections of art, science, and politics. His works—often monumental on both a physical and conceptual scale—speak to the prevailing themes pertaining to our cultural and political moment. The Encyclopedia of Invisibility (2018), for instance, is a monumental sculpture and reference book of overlooked historical events, scientific discoveries, and hidden lives that reinforces the myriad of individuals who have been omitted from Western history.
“The work that Clara and Joe are doing is inspiring, and I’m very proud to have created this piece as a marker of our shared vision,” said Strachan. “The question of belonging, particularly in this country, is so foundational and yet increasingly challenged. This is a critical message at a critical time.”