LA River Impression by Chuan Ding“LA River Impression” by Chuan Ding

Filmmaker and artist Wim Wenders once noted, “Landscapes tell stories, and the Los Angeles River tells a story of violence and danger.” After six decades of taming the Los Angeles River through the medium of concrete and construction, the city’s major waterway can still be dangerous and occasionally violent, but mostly more of a placid flood abatement feature than the wild force it once was.

Today the Los Angeles River is a corridor of public land that serves as a conduit for the movement of water, trains, cars, electricity, trucks, and freight for much of its fifty miles. From its beginnings in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley, the river journeys out to Long Beach, eventually emptying into the Pacific Ocean. The river’s flow travels through a variety of communities and urban landscapes, sometimes a calm trickle, occasionally a turbulent force reminding us of its former seasonal ferocity.


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