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An artful addition to Bradbury's interior

June 24, 2007|SUZANNE MUCHNIC

THE BRADBURY BUILDING — a National Historic Landmark in downtown L.A., distinguished by a soaring Victorian atrium with open-cage elevators, marble stairs and lacy iron railings -- has always been more than an architectural wonder. Known to film buffs as the setting for "Blade Runner" and "Wolf," it's home to law offices, real estate firms, a cutlery shop, a fast-food outlet and a cellphone vendor.

But an upscale art gallery with a pristine 3,000-square-foot exhibition space? A gallery devoted to Chinese contemporary art?

The Bradbury is the place to be, say Karon Morono and Eliot Kiang, who launched the Morono Kiang Gallery in the historic building after several years of work with contemporary artists and publications in China. The first show, "Just Words," which closes Saturday, offers works by Xu Bing, Hong Hao and Xie Xiaoze, leading Chinese artists whose art explores language, text and books.

Next, opening July 12, is "Unpredictable," a photography exhibition featuring mysterious narratives by Chen Wei and images of scrap-metal collectors by Jin Shan.

-- SUZANNE MUCHNIC

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