Eternal Banyan Tree

2019

Video installation (HD video, 6′ 54″)

Right Place Right Work, 53 Art Museum, Guangzhou, China

A video installation themed around artificial or “eternal” plants, presented in an exhibition curated by Xiao Li and Li Qiongbo at the conclusion of an exchange residency between China and Japan. As a commercial center for artificial plants and mass produced plastics, I began the residency in Guangzhou wishing to trace the manufacturing processes and environments of artificial plants. For the exhibition, I rented an eternal banyan tree—traditionally symbolic of longevity in China—and gained the cooperation of its creator, Yao Ting Zhong, to document the process of its production and installation at the site while speaking with him about manmade and natural environments. The final exhibition featured the banyan tree and documentary video, while an electric fan hidden at first from view created a gentle breeze to heighten the mimicry of nature. While not providing any concrete answers, the visual experience attempted to provide insight into the complexity behind notions of artifice and nature, and our relationship to the natural environment.