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THE TREE OF SOULS FROM THE SEA, JEJU ISLAND

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION

2020

Collaboration with artist Yangkura for the creation of a public installation, an upcycled tree made from ocean waste to ponder on the rhetorics of waste and to reinterpret shamanic traditions in contemporary and post-capitalist society in Jeju Island, South Korea, for the Sleepers Summit Festival 2020.


Jeju island is a unique place in the North Pacific Ocean affected by the Kuroshio Current, part of the North Pacific Ocean gyre, a giant, circular ocean current that bounds the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.


On its shores we could observe objects that travelled long distances with different origins, traces of anthropogenic activity with the unique ability - unlike humans - to travel freely and without borders.


 We decided to respond to these traces through a process of collection and archival, an act of remembering what is discharged by society and still charged with meaning. The intention is to reflect on what is admitted and rejected, on the process of inclusion and exclusion, the unsastainable conversion of resource into product, and ultimately the production of waste, that seems to globally rule our daily activities.    


To express this idea we turned to the shamanic traditions deeply rooted in Jeju's culture, where the Ocean and its abundances are a pillar of society and its sustainance. 


The installation takes the shape of a tree, traditionally a place for gathering and devotional shrine for Jeju's rural society.

2020


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