First The Gates, a large scale public art project, overtook Central Park. Now, Ashes and Snow, a photography exhibit, literally sits atop Hudson River on Pier 54 near West 13th Street. It is also largest temporary exhibition space ever created in Manhattan.
Built on an abandoned waterfront pier, Nomadic Museum, a 67-foot-wide by 672-foot-long, privately-funded traveling museum is made of 148 stacked steel cargo shipping containers. Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, exhibition, Ashes and Snow, consists of portraits taken by Canadian-born artist Gregory Colbert.
Elementary school teacher, Heidi Laudien, 38, said she plans to bring her students to sight.
"I love idea of a museum made from recycled materials and I want my kids to see that creative part of exhibit and how it illustrates transience of space," she said.
The exhibit and museum will be displayed through June 6 in 45,000-square-foot temporary structure. Afterwards, it will be dismantled and resurrected in Santa Monica, Calif, then off to Vatican City in 2006, as it continues on its nomadic adventure.
Colbert is no stranger to traveling either. His work features portraits of exotic animals and natives from his visits to places like India, Egypt, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Ethiopia.
His sepia colored photographs are printed on leather looking parchment paper and held up by wires and hanging on an invisible wall along lengths of pier. The scenes depicted include large animals like elephants, whales, manatees, eagles, with much smaller mammals and children.
One photo has a child kissing a cheetah, another shows a man swimming under water with a 55-ton sperm whale, and one has a woman dancing near an adult elephant. These outrageous shots have caused visitors to question how Colbert did it. A volunteer at museum said Colbert's process will not be revealed. In a statement released by his foundation Colbert says none of images have been superimposed or digitally collaged. He plans to add new pieces to show each time museum moves to another destination.