A monumental balloon symbolizes California’s dual nature

Thousands of tissue paper triangles symbolize the connectivity of Tijuana and San Diego.

The giant tissue paper balloon previously hanging in the Museum atrium was created by Collective Magpie and hundreds of people who live in the two Californias: Alta California, in the United States, and Baja California, in Mexico. On the sides of the bridge, you will see two images of the U.S. to Mexico border fence. The image on the right side of the bridge pictures the view from the United States into Mexico. The image on the left side of the bridge pictures the view from Mexico into the United States. Collective Magpie held dozens of workshops in San Diego and Tijuana to painstakingly create this sculpture in the tradition of Globos de Cantoya: unmanned hot air balloons made all over Mexico. The structure is held together by the thousands of interconnecting tissue paper triangles, symbolizing the connectivity and interdependence of the Tijuana-San Diego region.

Exploration 1

COUNT the “Hecho en Mexico” and “Made in the USA” stamps.

Exploration 2

LOOK at the images of the fence. What can you spy through the fence posts?

Who Made This?

Collective Magpie
San Diego, California

Tae Hwang and MR Barnadas are two-thirds of Collective Magpie. Their “third” collaborator includes the hundreds of people who have engaged in their large-scale projects, often using everyday materials such as paper or balloons.


Lower Level Renovations

We’re undergoing some renovations to our Lower Level. Please excuse any construction you may see or hear during your visit-current exhibit spaces will not be impacted.

Thank you for understanding!