Theme Garden_Nostalgia

Introduction: Theme Garden_Nostalgia

An installation for 2014 Korea Garden Show

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Step 1: Concept

The concept of this theme garden “The Nostalgia,” began with the question, “Where is your garden?” The installation provides a tool for participants to reflect on this question and on their own memories. Most contemporary Koreans live in urban areas do not have a nicely manicured garden at home. Rather, we have small plants in pots that are close to our everyday chores. Think of your mother washing dishes, looking at her sweet flowers sitting in a little pot near your sink. Our gardens mingle with the everyday—common and humble, yet deeply personal and unique.

By choosing and amplifying an “old washing place” from Korean vernacular domestic scenes, this project highlights hidden aspects of the garden in everyday city life. This stimulates nostalgia for a common feeling of “home” that transcends generations and ethnicity.

Step 2: Idea - “Gradually Changing Rotation Gradient”

By twisting 42 identical canvases with a gradually changing rotational gradient, this project alternately reveals and conceals the space, creating interplay between collective memory and personal sentiment.

Step 3: Composition

Each 600-by-2000-millimeter-long canvas is fastened at its bottom by wire with the same orientation and then warped by the rotatable wood hanger at the top with an individualistic directional gesture. This provides visitors with various views through the space, and created a wide range of visibility depending on a viewer’s location. In addition, as each canvas is spaced 1,100 millimeters apart on center and repeated in a polar array, visitors have to enter this space individually; as they move through the installation, they catch glimpses of their friends and partners who experience the installation with them. The simply constructed forms created by visual diffusion evoke a romantic curiosity into the sacred space of the everyday.

This theme garden “Nostalgia” consists of three major components: at the top, a wooden structure; in the middle, 42 traditional fabric swatches rotated on pre-fabricated hangers; at the base, crushed stone with old wash basins, washboards, river rocks, and flowering plant species.

Step 4: Metal Frame

Pre-cut metal frames are welded together and bolted to the stone paver on site

Step 5: Wood Post

8 wood posts (150mm x 300mm x 2200mm) are attached to the metal frame.

Step 6: Wood Beam

Wood posts and beam are connected with the angled metal brackets.

Step 7: Joist, Hanger, and Crushed Stone

Wood joists and wood beams are connected with the angled metal brackets. 42 pre-fabricated wood hangers are fastened to the top joists with a gradually changing rotational gradient.

Step 8: Planting and Hanging Out the Canvas

Flowering plant species that are reminiscent of an old washing place are planted between river rocks or in the old wash basins. Each 600-by-2000-millimeter-long canvas is fastened at its bottom by wire with the same orientation and attached to the wood hanger at the top with velcro. These canvases are warped with an individualistic directional gesture because the hangers at the top are fastened with a gradually changing rotational gradient .

Step 9: Open to Public

The Goyang International Horticulture Expo is an annual event held in the city’s Lake Park, near the western border of Seoul. It draws more than a million people and features 25 National Pavilions, plus 120 companies from 35 countries as well as 180 domestic companies. In 2014, the first Korean Garden Show was included as part of the Expo. I had the honor to be one of 17 designers selected in an open competition to realize my proposal during a two-week installation process before the opening.

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