Healing “MOUNTAIN” / STUDIO DUYANG

Site. Junshan Island is a small island in Dongting Lake, China. Every year during the dry season, the tidal flat north of the island is covered with reeds, extending to the lake shore thousands of meters away, forming a huge reed swamp. The local organizer invited artists to create artwork in the fields.

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Concept. Walking among the reeds is like swimming under the undulating sea. The reeds as tall as two people blocked the view, and the sunlight penetrated from all directions. As the temperature increased and such walks became extremely difficult, I became aware of my cravings and physical needs. What am I looking for? May be an anchor point, or a shelter to stay on. Then, the image of “mountain” emerged in my mind. I want to build a mountain here, a huge entity that can be gazed and looked up at. Such mass can provide some kind of constant support for the creatures living here. “Mountain” as a spatial concept has a poetic connection with the roof of traditional Chinese architecture. My idea started from the action of “shading”  and achieved the geometric prototype.

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Healing “MOUNTAIN” / STUDIO DUYANG - Exterior Photography

Structure. To achieve the ultimate sense of floating, we reduced the support points of the single surface to 3: diagonal columns at both ends of the surface and a “cross” column composed of 5 steel tubes. A horizontal steel tube was embedded below the ground and welded together with support columns. It enhanced the stability of the structure and prevented the subsidence of the structure.

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Material. Reed mat was used for the first time as the main material of the installation. The raw and wild nature covered the industrial sense and precision of the internal steel structure. The reed mat was more like a botanical specimen, which completely retained the morphology and structure of the reed itself. The reed leaves and reed flowers were extruded into a surface shape by the machine,  transforming the light plants into a high-density and high-quality substance. The contrast and visual tension exceeded my expectations. No material is perfect, and the only certainty in the process is uncertainty.

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Space. A large curved structure stood in the middle of the field. The gap between the curved surfaces were portals to wind, rain, light, and all living things. The exterior of the “mountain” was open and bright, allowing people to sit, lie down and look around the scenery. The interior was quiet, with a good sense of shelter, suitable for meditation and solitude. We covered the ground with reeds, and steel columns held the whole “mountain” up. This floating state allowed the inner space of the mountain to blend with the external nature.

Healing “MOUNTAIN” / STUDIO DUYANG - Exterior Photography

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