流亡的珊瑚礁 Exiled Reef
地點：環保復育公園緩坡，基隆，臺灣 (25.145986N, 121.805194E)
2015 International Marine Environment Art Project , “Paradise: Sustainable Oceans”
Title: Exiled Reef
Artist: Lee, Kuei-Chih
Size: 18m(L)x6m(W)x2.5m(H) Materials: Driftwood collected along the shore in Keelung, sisal rope, recycled fishing net, wooden rods and recycled chopsticks used as nails
Location: Eco Park Ramp, Keelung city, Taiwan (25.145986N, 121.805194E)
Lee, Kuei-Chih’s land art installation creates a sculptural coral reef meandering down a grassy slope toward the sea to remind us about the endangered coral reefs in the world’s oceans.
Taiwan is surrounded by the sea, yet we are so far from the sea.
The artwork's title is "exiled reef." I metaphorically use coral as people, and the word "exile" means unable to return home.
Coral’s original habitat has disappeared and it has been unable to recover, leaving only whitened withered bodies floating in the sea, and trying to pull at our memory of nature when coral thrived in the oceans.
My artwork responds to the theme of sustainable ocean in ecological coexistence.
Reefs are "sea rainforests". They could reduce the speed of coastal erosion, like a natural breakwater.
And coral reefs can maintain marine biodiversity, preserve the fisheries economy, provide eco-tourism and also they have medicinal value for modern medicine.
However, our natural coastal coral reef ratio is reduced year by year; in the marine ecosystem it is a very serious warning. Therefore, I chose coral as the corresponding thinking for the environment, and as the object of the shape for the work.
When I am making the land art, the place or site is an important element to consider.
It is related to geography and to the historical texture of the ground.
Here where I made my artwork in Keelung it is an artificially reclaimed land; after years of the garbage mountain it is now turned into an eco-park.
A long time age, there were many houses built from dead coral reefs.
I created many abstract shapes as coral reefs and waves in this work, and combined them with each other on the prairie toward the sea, like floating organisms flow on the sea and also like bleached coral to remind us of the past beautiful scene.
I use local materials or nearby materials to create my land artwork each time, and I try to minimize the journey of the materials.
I think driftwood has properties of the sea, and bamboo belongs to the mountains. So I used driftwood to express the idea of a "sustainable marine environment".
Driftwood also has the shared memories on the island, especially for residents near the sea.
I used wooden dowels to join each piece of driftwood in order to keep its original texture and make the structure strong enough.
On the other hand, I used a little bit of artificial recycled fishing net as a symbol to create the sense of conflict and make a strange balancing relationship in this work. We can see the fishing net here everywhere since this is a fishing community. And we also can see many abandoned fishing nets in the ocean that are destroying the marine environment. More nets in the past were woven from plant fibers that are easily biodegraded after disposal, but modern chemical fibers always exist for a long time. I used this artificial fiber net to tell that the human factor is the main cause of marine destruction. It looks like blood and bound up in the structure.
In addition, my artwork has several places for people to rest and sit. I hope people get close to the artwork and stay longer here. We can enjoy the beautiful scenery and also be able to think about our Earth Mother - the ocean.
photo by Timothy S. Allen