Takeshi Miyakawa released

Art that caused bomb scare was supposed to bring peace to Bedford Avenue

The Brooklyn Paper
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A Greenpoint artist who sparked a bomb scare on Bedford Avenue by hanging illuminated trash bags says his art project was supposed to make the neighborhood more peaceful.

Furniture designer Takeshi Miyakawa, 50, walked out of court a free man on Wednesday after spending five days in jail for planting a plastic “I Love NY” bag containing battery-powered LED-lights that cops thought was an explosive.

Miyakawa insisted he just wanted to help calm one of his favorite hangout spots with public art, but cops initially saw it as a threat and cordoned off three blocks of Bedford Avenue on Friday while the bomb squad investigated

Hours later, police say they caught Miyakawa as he was putting up another bag on a lamppost near Lorimer Street. Prosecutors charged him with reckless endangerment, criminal nuisance, and planting false bombs.

On Sunday, Judge Martin Murphy ordered Miyakawa held in custody pending a mental health evaluation — perhaps the artist’s worst critique in his career.

Miyakawa apologized for the disturbance his project caused neighbors.

“I was in shock that I got arrested, but I was more in shock that people in Williamsburg were locked down for two hours — I really apologize,” he said outside Brooklyn Supreme Court. “Some people suffered from the project.

Friends and work colleagues, who called the judge’s decision to hold Miyakawa behind bars for days “absurd,” rallied to support the artist at the courthouse on Wednesday in hope of his release.

“Takeshi is a fabulous human being and a person of extraordinary talent,” said architect Rafael Viñoly, who employs Miyakawa in his model shop. “We hope this misunderstanding is cleared up as quickly as possible.”

Miyakawa’s attorney Deborah Blum, asked for his speedy release and Judge William Garnett consented — as long as Miyakawa undergo psychiatric testing.

Miyakawa said he was happy to have his freedom and was eager to home so he could take a long bath and have a beer.

He said he is not planning to sue the city for what his supporters call a lengthier-than-expected detention at Rikers Island. Instead, he is focusing his attention on his upcoming trial, which begins on June 21.

“I didn’t do this to get media attention, it was supposed to be quiet and discreet,” he said.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at or by calling (718) 260-2547.
Updated 5:33 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Rob from Greenpoint says:
Work of art? Seriously?
May 24, 2012, 8:57 am
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
Joy to the World!
And bombs on Earth!
May 25, 2012, 1:45 pm
Jerry from Grand Army Plaza says:
It is beyond me why a 50 year old man with a day job would want to do something like this. I'm an artist, but I don't see the point in putting bags in trees. I don't think they look good. In fact, when I see a bag in a tree, my 1st thought is to remove it. My 2nd thought is to keep walking which I act on, as I'm a busy person and don't have time to fool with bags in trees. Also, it is never a good idea to drink in the tub, Takeshi. Wait until your bath is done before enjoying your beverage, please-after all the hub haw you've stirred up, I don't think any of us are going to want to read: QUESTIONABLE ASIAN ARTIST, 50, DROWNS IN BEER BATH
May 29, 2012, 4:35 pm
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June 14, 2012, 12:37 pm

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