Hot Tea Lights Memorial Luminaries About Loss on Library Steps

Site Specific Installation at NY Public Library for New Yorkers

On a recent evening in mid-town Hot Tea lit a candle for those we’ve lost. 180 of them actually.

A conceptual public art piece on the steps of the Mid Manhattan Library, the Street Artist who is known for tagging isometrically with yarn on fences summoned a bevy of volunteers to share the memory of someone they lost by writing a remembrance on the back of a brown paper bag and joining in a collective open ceremony to lift the spirit, lighten the load.

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I wanted to depict the grand stairs of the library at night with 180 bags dimly lit by tea lights,” says the soft spoken Minneapolis based Street Artist who has successfully installed his non-destructive public works around the city while people walk by. Perhaps because of the gravity of the theme of loss, the volunteers worked quietly and with certitude filling paper sacks with sand and candles and carefully lighting them while tourists bought fluorescent propeller toys for their kids from sidewalk entrepreneurs and people posed alongside the marble lions named “Patience” and “Fortitude”.

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

After the luminaries were lit a faint Hot Tea pattern could be discerned across the new façade atop six risers, but mostly it was a warm flickering glow on a breeze-free late spring eve. Participants and passersby posed in front of the temporary holy place, a photographer with a drone recorded the scene from 20 feet above and tourists held up their multitudes of tablets and phones to record. Finally Hot Tea invited mourners and others to gather arms around shoulders to say a prayer and pass strength to one another. People were encouraged to take a hand-scribed bag that remembered someone else with them.

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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