By Laura Lee Bennett
In December 2020, local artist Nina Vichayapai created an installation for Redmond Lights, the City’s annual holiday celebration along the Connector Trail. Due to government restrictions on meeting in place, several artists set up lighted displays and structures in Redmond’s Downtown Park for the community to visit in small groups over the course of the month.
If you stood at the corner of Cleveland Street and 164th Ave NE, you likely caught Nina’s “mini-museum”—a blue wooden light box filled with objects and photos collected around Redmond—either submitted by community members or gathered by the artist. She also worked with the Redmond Historical Society’s archives to incorporate images of Redmond’s past, revealing a rich, diverse pastiche of cultural communities.
According to Vichayapai, “These objects immortalize the everyday things that we find meaning in; they become a part of the place we live in, which results in a landscape that is as dynamic as the community is diverse.”
Inspired by Redmond’s Bear Creek site, where the oldest dated artifacts of human life in Western Washington were discovered in 2015, the artist notes, “This collection imagines what the archaeological artifacts of our time might look like.”
“Your Story, Our Story” mini-museum, Redmond Lights 2020. All photos courtesy of the artist.
Images from Society archives were acknowledged with the RHS logo and caption.
In addition, Nina Vichayapai uses fabric as language to reveal how surroundings embody personal and social histories. From the intimate privacy of homes to the ambiguity of wild landscapes, she explores physical spaces as expressions of the people who have shaped them. The artist’s work has been shown in museums, galleries, and community spaces across the West. Nina was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and currently lives between Seattle and Portland.
Left: Objects before resin. The objects were either imprinted in clay or preserved in resin to create “artifacts.” Right: Objects in resin.