Pattern For KONO Utility Box Mural located at 20th and Telegraph in Oakland
“Pattern for KONO” was created specifically for the Korean Northgate neighborhood by artist
Lynne-Rachel Altman, and brings a unique decorative floral pattern -
reminiscent of interior domestic and feminine realms - to the street.
The pattern features the rose of sharon or mugunghwa (hibiscus syriacus), the
national flower of South Korea; the meskel daisy (bidens pachyloma), a flower
from the mountains of Ethiopia that blooms each year after the rains and
represents renewal and the new year; and the coast live oak (quercus agrifolia),
which sustained the Ohlone and is the symbol of modern Oakland.
Based on the intricate block-printed wallpaper styles popularized by English
Victorian designers, the colorful stenciled mural creates a visual dialog between
the romance of the tended English landscape, the current ecological peril, and
the “down-to-earth” nature of Oakland.
Employing the decorative-arts tradition of pattern, repetition, and symbolic
motifs to communicate, Altman’s piece uses horticulture as a metaphor for
multiculturalism. Her resulting vibrant intertwining plants are designed to
highlight the beauty of KONO’s cultural diversity and community