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Yin Yang Wave Splashes Into Manhattan Village

Apr 20, 2015 01:13PM ● By DigMB Staff

Chris Barela, center, with MB Mayor Wayne Powell and Monica Horton-Frey.

Manhattan Beach is known for waves, and now, one that can be viewed from all angles and allows air, light, and water to flow through it, can be experienced slightly inland in Manhattan Beach at Manhattan Village Shopping Center.

The Yin Yang Wave sculpture, created by Mira Costa High School graduate Chris Barela, who now makes Hawaii his home, was recently installed in Center Court, near the Apple Store, making use of the existing fountain.

"The center really wanted an open and airy design that would integrate the water element so the art piece was interactive, not static," says Valerie James, Marketing & Specialty Leasing Manager for Manhattan Village. "Thus, the wave concept was selected." 

Barela's wave is interactive, and one center visitors have been enjoying since it was officially unveiled at a ceremony earlier this month. "It is fun to see the sculpture come to life with the integrated water feature," says James.

Barela, who as an artist has combined his artistic sensibilities with his love of the ocean, designed the Yin Yang Wave as a distinctive double-sided wave sculpture that synchronizes the endless force of the ocean as the tides ebb and flow. 

“Much of my respect and inspiration in art comes from growing up in the South Bay, the ocean, and my surfing," says the artist. "I really wanted to bring in the movement and power of that for people to experience with this piece.

“This project means a great deal to me because it comes from my soul and establishes a personal connection to the beach community that I grew up in; I feel very honored,” said Barela.

Manhattan Village's Assistant General Manager Monica Horton-Frey, who attended Mira Costa with Barela and has worked with him on other art projects, thought a third Barela bronze in the South Bay would add yet another artistic highlight to the community.

Barela's other commissioned art pieces include the famed Tim Kelly statue at the foot of the Hermosa Beach Pier, and the life-size statue of esteemed legends and Body Glove founders, Bob and Bill Meistrell, that graces the entrance to the Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach. 

 “We are thrilled to have a sculpture that epitomizes Manhattan Beach and its love of the arts and the ocean," says Liz Griggs, General Manager of Manhattan Village. "We are equally pleased that it was created by someone who grew up in the area and has moved on to become world-renowned.”

During his years as a professional surfer, Barela appeared on the cover of Surfing Magazine, and retired from the sport in the late 1980s. He turned his love for the ocean into a career in sculpture, painting, photography and filmmaking. He built the Yin Yang Wave in his Puako studio on the Big Island and shipped it to his foundry in Ventura, California where it received finishing touches. 

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