ISLANDS OF YESTERDAY: Lava of Melting Memories

paraffin wax, seawater, fair-faced concrete, pig iron, acrylic, light and sound installation

size depends on space

2016 

Through the island residency experiences in the past 2 years,the idea of life was overturned and a new and heterogeneous point of view was revealed,

with ruminant auras out of the culture, nature, time and people I met.

Therefore I use paraffin wax and seawater from the island to create my work, as a symbol of specimen sealed with wax,

just like memories that would die soon upon contact with the air and require a protection of medium.

 

Paraffin wax becomes an icon of memory, semi-transparent, blurry, delicate;

and at the same time it represents the fluid characteristics of basalt stone and volcanic lava I witnessed in Penghu islands, Taiwan and Jeju island, Korea.

I form the shape and gratitude of the islands with wax drops, which contribute a contour map in an invert way.

Through the reflection of water, a dazzling, uncertain image of island could be gazed through the misty water tank.

 

I paint the sceneries inversely between layers with charcoal powder, shell pigments mixed with seawater, which become a misty,

ambiguous and transparent image through the glimmer from the back of the work, just like a slice of memory made into a fragile specimen.

 

The basalt and basalt stone in Jeju and the coral stone in Penghu (澎湖) will become immersed in the wax of stagnant memory and eventually laid over by concrete,

while the black basalt coast of Jeju Harbor is now covered with concrete embankment, 

and traditional coral stone houses in Penghu are continually dying and replaced by modern buildings of concrete and brick.

 

The wax is just like memory, with the contradictory feature of stability and fragility at the same time,

but those once remembered will end up concealed by concrete, the even more stable but fragile symbol of reality.