Hanger Barn: Recycled Art Encourages Hanging Out

Thousands of wire coat hangers converge into an art installation and destination for performance on Governor’s Island.

Thousands of wire coat hangers converge into an art installation and destination for performance on Governor’s Island. Photo: Untapped Cities | FIGMENT NYC.

An installation featuring 21,456 wire coat hangers sounds like a set up for a joke about dry cleaners or car theft. But, pending official approval and funding, instead, it will be a sculpture on Governor’s Island, going up this summer.

Judges from the volunteer art coalition FIGMENT NYC chose the installation, called Hanger Barn. The artists, Bosuk Hur and Youngsu Lee of the architectural design firm Folio, will source more than twenty thousand used hangers from dry cleaning facilities and donation drop points across the city.

Zip-tied together in precise, fractal patterns with mirrored segments, they will make a double-roofed pavilion shape that will support a load while still being so airy as to be insubstantial.

During the summer, the ersatz pavilion will be used as a gathering place and performance space for people enjoying the historical scenery and public arts of Governor’s Island. At the end of the season, it will be dismantled, and every single component recycled. This focus on sustainability and interaction is part of what impressed the FIGMENT judges.

FIGMENT NYC has a history of choosing recycled art. Previous installations include a floating, flower-strewn canopy of found umbrellas, a hovering “cloud” of empty water bottles, and a slightly nightmarish bloated inflatable sculpture named ‘Burble Bup’ which was eventually disassembled into over a hundred Nessie-shaped pool toys and donated to local public pools. “Hanger Barn” will fit right in.

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