Connoisseur of Fine Art and Fine Bagels Brit Byrd visited CC sophomore Alex Chang’s Nussbaum dorm-cum-museum. Here’s what he found out from its curator…
Impressionism, curatorship, and soft lighting are three concepts not usually associated with the address 600 W 113th St. This year however, the focused glow of one resident’s set of museum-caliber LEDs is on a mission to civilize the notoriously harsh fluorescence of Nussbaum.
Alex Chang (aka Peaches), CC ’15, has posters of two impressionistic works, Edgar Degas’ Rehearsal of the Scene and one of Claude Monet’s many famous Water Lilies framed on his wall with special lighting and sound. A set of Ikea INRIDATM lights and a LG Sound Bar TM audio system belie the setting of a college dorm in favor of a meticulously constructed bachelor den, more befitting of an address 40 blocks downtown.
Despite the holistic well-tuned glow, the display was not master-planned beforehand but rather, an act of consumer spontaneity. “I was already in Ikea, just getting typical stuff for my room when I ran across the LEDs and remembered how harsh the lighting was [in Nussbaum]. My mom works for LG and had been given the Sound Bar already, and it all kind of just came together while we were putting it up.”
The bespoke nature of the room is in sharp contrast with Chang’s Carman double last year which he described as “very much a stereotypical college dorm; the posters I had last year had a very pastel color scheme, so I guess that eventually led to me having the two impressionist prints this year.”
The new setting is intended to feel more like a home, but space limitations are still a source of frustration. A French-trained chef, Chang worked at the Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side over the summer, and loves to entertain—even if that entails simply making a meal for some of his suitemates. “The biggest problem that keeps me from making this room more of a home is a lack of space to eat,” he said. “Although I don’t miss the messiness of Carman, this room isn’t quite the forum of human interaction that last year’s was.”
Perhaps the biggest irony of the double-turned-gallery is that Chang’s roommate enjoys a far better view from his perch across the room. When asked for his opinion, he simply remarked, “the whole thing … is terribly… beautiful.”