Amir H. Fallah, Portals, 2021, installation view, The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Koreatown Headquarters, Los Angeles, CA. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Alan Shaffer.
Portals is a site-specific installation from Amir H. Fallah, featuring three large-scale stained glass panels at The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health's new headquarters in Koreatown. Located in the Vermont Corridor, the stained glass sculptures are installed to subtly divide the terrace, providing intimate spaces for visitors to contemplate the work, while allowing full view of the surrounding environment. Each piece incorporates a portal or entryway from sites around Los Angeles, with references to Victorian, Korean and Mid-Century Modern styles. These designs are found throughout Koreatown, speaking to the rich and diverse creative influences that abide within the community. Local botanical elements are also included in the works to relay a sense of healing, while employing entryways as significant portals of transition, symbolic of psychological growth and development.
The translucent nature of the glass acts as a metaphor for seeing past challenges and moving towards positive change. With this cycle of evolution in mind, rich, colorful backgrounds shift in color, keeping the pieces in constant motion as the light of the day reflects onto the surrounding architecture. The rays of light refracted from the glass are ever changing, further alluding to the passage of time, transformation, and movement.