Little Tokyo Community Council and Sustainable Little Tokyo announces the The First Street North (FSN) Poster Contest, initiated by +LAB and FSN stakeholders to support the ongoing effort to preserve the historic FSN block through arts, awareness, and engagement. The contest was held in the spirit of Little Tokyo political posters and community art with a message, and officially commenced the #MyFSN campaign to celebrate the only historically preserved block in Little Tokyo. To kick off the contest, posters from Little Tokyo’s rich history were on display at Far East Lounge, located in the historic Far East Building at 353 East First St. Contest organizers hope this will be a good inspiration for any artists.
Finalists were selected by a small group of FSN stakeholders representing organizations, institutions, businesses, residents, and artists. Top designs for each category will receive mass full-color reproductions and be distributed throughout Little Tokyo storefronts and public spaces, websites, and social media.
Winners & Runner-ups
WINNER: David Monkawa
The artwork tries to show how LT has been chopped down through history. First, in 1942, then cops took about a quarter in 1952 by building Parker Center, then in 1977 with the dispersal of the working class JAs and Latinos due to Japanese and US capital investments and jobs shipped away to Mexico and Asia.Today "First Street North" is being fought for in that context.
RUNNER-UP: Steve Nagano
First Street North has experienced many permutations--perhaps the least being its physical presence. Imagine Japanese being the predominate language spoken, restaurants serving American foods, signage in nihongo (Japanese), and residents living in the neighborhood, at one time nearly 30,000. Today, Little Tokyo is a place primarily for eating and shopping, with non-profits and their workers, with English spoken and a multi-ethnic resident community. “Change” and “Adaptation” are words that encapsulate the space known as “Rafu.” It is “J-Town” and “Little Tokyo,” to the generations that have walked the sidewalks of First Street North.
WINNER: Kimsun Wong
This creation highlights my fondest memories visiting Little Tokyo on a sunny and quiet weekend. First Street North offers a variety of Japanese restaurants and gift shops unique to Los Angeles.
RUNNER-UP: RJ Quiralta
Inspiration taken from Little Tokyo's past and present. It's a vision of its future, still standing, with a clean and healthy FSN. Through keeping awareness of the past (memories), we learn (knowledge) to keep the history (preservation). The last icon represents the figs and leaves from the historical Fig Tree.