Public Sculptures by Kipp Kobayashi seen at Fire Station #19 San Jose, CA, San Jose - Guardians of the Garden City
Public Sculptures by Kipp Kobayashi seen at Fire Station #19 San Jose, CA, San Jose - Guardians of the Garden City
Image credit: Gregory Case Photography
Context & Credits
Item Guardians of the Garden City
Created by Kipp Kobayashi
Item Details
Particularly struck by the multiple individual roles that each firefighter must play, I began taking familiar images of contemporary American firefighters and placing them in juxtaposition to their historical, international or cultural counterparts. The archetypes were selected for their relationship to the station or to the surrounding community. These images were then etched onto stainless steel cylinders and separated into thirds so that they could be mixed and matched like a child’s puzzle. The parts can combine in any number of ways and the visual results can range from the very familiar to the otherworldly to super-hero or manga like. In this, I saw an opportunity to speak to the ideas of adaptation, changeability and diversity.

Meet the Creator

Kipp Kobayashi

Kipp Kobayashi

Claremont, CA

As an artist and urban designer, Kipp Kobayashi has a keen interest in the nature of human interaction in our public environments and is in constant search for ways to initiate dialogue and to promote sociability within these spaces. His work explores how these overlapping narrative threads merge with the physical characteristics of a specific environment, transforming them into living and unique entities composed of our thoughts, actions and experiences.

In a career spanning nearly two decades, Kobayashi has created projects and presented ideas for cities across the nation and for such organizations as the Getty Museum, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Sound Transit and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. In addition, he is an elected member of the Public Art Network Advisory Council which provides recommendations and insight to Americans for the Arts for the development and execution of public art services and resources. Based in Los Angeles, he received a BA from the University of California at Berkeley, an MFA from the University of Southern California and has taught extensively in the Urban and Regional Planning department at the Cal Poly Pomona School of Environmental Design.


Available for commission/custom work