Animated light sequence made up entirely by drops of water, traveling on across thin channels with superhydrophobic nano coating
A large contemplative panoramic space awaits the viewer, with specks of light glide across the darkness.
The work contemplates with water, elemental to daily life, is also associated with expanded world views. In ancient times, water clocks were widely used to indicate, measure and capture time. Water-powered astronomical clocks were invented to observe celestial bodies. The viewing of the moon in the reflection of a dewdrop is taken as a metaphor by Japanese Zen master Dogen Zenji. Modern physicists compare the warping of spacetime with a body of moving water.
The theory of water memory purports that water is capable of retaining the memory of previously dissolved substances, in incidents and places it travels through. It inspires all kinds of imagination about how water sees and remembers across centuries. Perhaps nothing captures memories more poignantly than a teardrop. It is a pure manifestation of remembering, longing, forgetting, and coping with lost and disappearance.
Flow was created for the ancient water town of Wuzhen in China, and glides across impermanence — of time and place, history and memory, disappearance and displacement. As in the Edo-period haiku “The World of Dew” 露の世 by Kobayashi Issa, a dewdrop presents an opportunity to contemplate something that is far greater than what we are capable of grasping.
露の世は 露の世ながら さりながら
The world of dew —
A world of dew it is indeed,
And yet, and yet . . .
(translated by Lewis Mackenzie)
Special thanks to Wuzhen International Contemporary Art Exhibition Curatorial Team and Production Team, HKBU Academy of Visual Arts, Alien Art Centre, Stephanie Cheung