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On a dead end street, through a broken fence and on the fourth floor of a crumbling, barren building you’ll find Toki’s mesmerizing “002” in its semi-secret location.
He and partner Khai Grubbs created a simple yet spell-binding second installation in their three-part “Synth Series.” Cream, cerulean, pink, and orange yarn strings wrap around the derelict room’s center beams. Blending into the background from afar, “002” could easily be missed, but approaching the work leaves a colorful, complex impression.
“I feel like it’s the kind of thing where the longer I look at it the more layers I’ll see in it,” visitor Chris Gray says.
Since it’s quiet debut three weeks ago, “002” has received a good deal of attention from bloggers, vloggers, and Twitter users, much to Toki’s surprise. The work didn’t open with free wine and a party for Instagrammers to come capture “002” in all of it’s mesmeric. Instead, “002” just happened.
“We were just doing it to it,” Rufai says. “It wasn’t really a thing until it picked up steam on [A] Creative DC.” It’s hard to find, but worth the trek.
For its pieces in the group called “Synth Series: The Intersection of Music, Space, & Architecture,” Toki uses wood, string, and nails “to create spaces that are engaging, occupiable, shifting” in each installation, the duo wrote in a joint email statement.
Toki says “Synth Series” is meant as a visual representation of music, rhythm, and movement; the works are housed in decrepit buildings as a way of contrasting creativity and newness with a gray and fallen environment.
“Just as music isolates and takes us beyond the current chaotic surroundings, the piece transports the individual into another reality different from the one they were in a few steps back,” the duo writes.
Rufai says local art lovers have two more weeks until “002” is removed from its location near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station. Late-to-the-game photographers will have to wait for “003,” Toki’s final “Synth Series” installation, to get that perfect shot.
Rufai and Grubbs are working on the final installation, “003,” but plans are still in the talking stages. After receiving so much attention from “002,” Rufai says he and Grubbs are working on an official debut for their next project.
Top two photos by Jordan-Marie Smith, bottom photo via Toki