Taoyuan International Driftwood Art Festival
Exhibition venue｜Taoyuan City Fenghe Park
About the work
When the torrential rains and violent winds of tropical cyclones—commonly known as typhoons—uproot giant high mountain trees and wash them down from the mountains, these trees turn into driftwood. Driftwood’s unique appearance comes from strong external impacts or long-term exposure to water. In comparison to the deeply-rooted giant trees stretching their lush branches upwards towards the sky, these by-products of natural disasters represent a tribute to life while simultaneously symbolizing impermanence.
This art piece incorporates the peculiar appearance of driftwood and its formation process as its underlying foundation, stacking and layering the timber to emphasize a relationship between the body and nature as a response to the primitive scenes of nature and the phenomenon of impermanence in life. A human-shaped steel plate, cut and formed by industrial machinery, functions as a skeleton, around which the barkless or damaged driftwood pieces are arranged. The image of the human body is portrayed in a “heroic” stance but its physical body is made of driftwood. At the same time, smaller incarnations of the hero in different sizes are also scattered about, giving an overall impression of a wasteland. The Image of Life exists as a display of the destruction of the natural world, a scene calling to mind the broken and fragile connection between humans and nature. It highlights the primitive origins of driftwood, while also reinterpreting the philosophical contradiction among human beings, nature, and the environment.