Monday, 23 November 2015

Water and Mountain — an inspired installation

June Yun: Water and Mountain Installation detail
Mountains and Water June Yun's installation, was inspired by Banff’s sounding mountains and water and created during her  six week an IntraNation Artists Residency program in Banff Art Centre in the Summer of 2004. Aboriginal artist Shirley Bear Canadian introduced her to traditional papermaking; the process started with tree bark and then flowers, leaves and grasses were embedded into the paper. During the papermaking process, Yun transformed her experiences into the following poem.

Like jade
Soft, heals your heart
Gives you life and comfort
No one can live without it
It is Yin
It is female
Soft flannel
Like with friends or lovers
Sweet, lingering…

When the moon is reflected on such water,
Waves galloping like white horses
Mountains loom with peaks
Like strong, solid shoulders
They are Yang!
When the great billows roll and smash against rocks
Mountains frame water a garden,
Give water a home
They are talking to each other for thousands, thousands years
A partnership forever…

Water, mountain (soil), wood, metal and fire are different
They all exist in the same world
and are a part of world
Water plays music for mountains
Mountains stand beside water, always
They are Yin and Yang’s harmony
Nature’s harmony.

The “Mountains and Water” poem inspired drawings, words and symbols on the paper, using ancient Chinese pictography style calligraphy to draw Yun's thoughts and what she saw in Banff (deer, clouds, river, birds, flowers, Yin and Yang, mountain and water). It extended and enriched her poem, and also reconnected her to her own ancestral tradition.

Mountains and Water is a three dimensional installation poem above. It may be read as a metaphor of Canadian life, nations within nation (IntraNation), a reflection of one's personal nature and culture [water, mountain/soil, wood, metal and fire], and the harmony of community sharing the mountains and water. Like the bark that eventually started a new work of art, June Yun started her new life in this landscape. The lights in the installation lead the way to a hopeful future to built in a new country. 

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