Takeshi Miyakawa Arrested in New York
Brooklyn-based designer Takeshi Miyakawa was arrested this weekend while installing an ‘I (Heart) New York’ lighting project in the city, for allegedly ‘planting false bombs’ in Manhattan and Williamsburg.
In celebration of NY Design Week, ‘I (Heart) New York’ was intended to show Miyakawa’s love for the city, where he has lived for 23 years working as a furniture designer, and model-maker for renowned architect Rafael Vinoly. The project upcycles the ubiquitous ‘I ♥ NY’ plastic bags into illuminated lamps hanging from trees and lamposts. Miyakawa himself is acclaimed internationally for his artistic experimentation of the highest level, using design as a means of activism with projects like the ‘Red Eclipse’ table to raise funds for humanitarian relief work after the Japan earthquake.
Instead, a passerby called the police on Friday night to report a suspicious package attached to a tree in Brooklyn. The area was evacuated for two hours as the NYPD bomb squad investigated, before deeming the object harmless. Nonetheless, Miyakawa was arrested at 2am Saturday morning while hanging another bag on a light post near McCarren Park. On Sunday, Judge Martin Murphy accused Miyakawa of reckless endangerment, the placing of false bombs, and criminal nuisance. he also ordered that he be detained for 30 days, as the artist awaits mental evaluation.
Free Takeshi Miyakawa and show the world that we will not stand for the abuse of artists’ and citizens’ rights here.