Today was finally the day I could make it out to The 14th Factory. If you guys are into art or anything dope, this is for you. My hope in this piece is that it inspires you to make the trip, because it’s so worth it. Where did I hear about this? Instagram, of course. Saw some friends post some amazing shots, which of course, ensued #FOMO. I had to come check it out for myself.
Without further ado, here are 14 reasons why you should visit this glorious space.
As described on their website, “The 14th Factory is a monumental, multiple-media, socially engaged art and documentary experience conceived by the Hong Kong-based British artist Simon Birch.” It doesn’t end with Birch, either. There are 20 other extremely talented artists whose work are on display. Every single piece in that factory told a story.
2- It’s local.
Okay. So I live in downtown LA, which is definitely closer than those of you who reside in the valley or the Westside. It’s about 10 minutes away from me, on the outskirts of downtown. But it’s local. Even if you’re in the OC, or even SD, I would say it’s worth the trip.
Even the location was part of the experience. The address (440 North Ave. 19 Los Angeles, CA 90031) brings you in the cuts, and you’re welcomed with a completely blacked out warehouse from the outside. Just wait until you get inside. It’s like entering another dimension.
3- It’s temporary.
This exclusive exhibit opened in January of this year. It’s donation-based, which means, the more people that come, the longer they stay. I believe the front desk informed me they will be staying through July. You guys, the hype is real. Most of the dates on the calendar are already sold out. Don’t miss out.
4- Photo Opp
This pitchfork exhibit was the one. So much so, there was a line to take a quick pic. People were getting real creative with it, taking upside down pics and what not. You can experiment and brainstorm before it’s your turn. I hate this saying, but it’s true: Do it for the Gram. Hit people with that #FOMO.
By the way, that’s 300 pitchforks in The Crusher room. My homeboy is a photographer so I thought this would be super dope for him. Until I realized he wasn’t even taking pics on his camera! He was using his Android. At 14th Factory, we can all be photographers behind our smartphones. iPhone 7, represent.
5- It’s unique.
— Shirley Ju (@shirju) May 27, 2017
It’s unique. It’s different. It’s one-of-a-kind. This was one of the first installations we saw as we stepped foot inside. As Juicy J would say, “We trippy mane.” I could have stayed here forever just watching this thing go. There were many other installations just as crazy. You’re in for a treat.
6- The Suspense.
Okay, no lie. The moment I stepped foot inside the actual building, it was pitch dark. Like, so dark I couldn’t see. I have 20/20 vision too, so I was actually having a moment. My homeboy had to hold my hand as I walked to the first installation (above). It was honestly dope though, and very much part of the experience. We enter the room further to find this dope art structure amidst the spookiness.
7- Asian theme.
I had one question in my head the entire time I was there: what is this Asian element to the exhibit? And why? The answer lies in the founder: Simon Birch. While born in Britain, he is a permanent resident of Hong Kong. Beyond his work, there was an overall Asian theme to the factory. With no bias at all (yes, I’m Asian), there’s something beautiful about the Asian culture. Art is just one of the most endearing ways to display it.
8- Bring a friend, or even go solo.
This is fun for anyone. I was blessed with a plus one and brought my homeboy Jordan. Bring a friend, bring two friends, bring your squad. And on the other end of the spectrum, if you need a day to yourself, this is perfect. Come here and surround yourself with nothing but art. This is definitely the perfect getaway.
You guys! This empty industrial warehouse was actually transformed into a factory. 14 interlinked spaces comprised of video, installation, sculpture, paintings and performance take up all three acres of the building. You become the central player once you step foot inside. Just when you think you’re done, you find yourself in yet another room with something you’ve never seen before. There’s even a gift shop and cafe at the end.
9- You are the central player.
I absolutely love this part. “In entering The 14th Factory, the visitor is transformed into a central player in a collaboratively fabricated adventure and motion picture that engages and unfolds, uniting individuals to the creative process and to each other. The experience challenges the current political climate by celebrating creative diversity, unity and the act of overcoming obstacles and challenges as a global society.”
I love interactive art. And art that gets your brain cells rolling, evoking controversial thoughts. These pieces will without a doubt make you feel some type of way. Talk about it.
10- Co-signed by the mayor.
Real recognize real. If the mayor takes time out of his day to come check this out, you probably should too.
11- Make it an all-day activity.
Okay, so when we came, this grass was definitely not green lmao. It was brown. But they still called it grass. This sits right in the middle of the factory, so you could literally sit and dwell on all the amazing artwork you see and have yet to see. Guys, we spent almost 3 hours here. It was lit. There’s SO much to see and do. It was honestly a day to remember.
12- Filming a documentary.
Before you enter, you sign a waiver giving permission to be in the background of the documentary they’re filming. I thought this was very dope.
13- It’s affordable.
Tickets are only $18 online, and $20 at the door. Huge thanks to Jocelyn for allowing me to attend. Honestly, I wouldn’t have mind paying $20, considering how much I got out of it. And I’m cheap, so that’s saying a lot. It’s definitely worth every penny.
By the way, it’s pet-friendly and children under 5 go for free. So make it a family outing.
14- Have fun.
This might be the biggest selling point. We visited all the rooms, some more than once. We joked about the pitchforks coming down on us when we were under them. We tried to decipher the meaning behind the video of the Asian wrestlers and the Ferrari crashing. We had fun and created memories. They last a lifetime.