"虎跳峡 (Tiger Leaping Gorge)"
Wood, Cut paper
Exhibited at "Art and Design Education: Future Lab" in Nov. 2019 at Westbund in Shanghai.
Nature soothes the soul. This zine is an exploration of my journey hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡) and its beauty. I wanted the feeling of time passing to be a prevalent aspect of the work and the act of flipping pages to feel both monotonous and exciting.
I have found myself returning to my memories of my time on the mountain and the calm it brought me. It was a place of comfort, but not of control. Relinquishing control is refreshing, but does not typically bring comfort. Nature allows the space for both.
The project is made up of 26 pages, each cut to build upon the scenery of the following page. As the viewer flips through the book they are brought alongside me through my memories of the mountains. Outside the window of our accommodation, the clouds obscured and revealed the glaciated summit of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain across from us. In the morning, the orange alpine glow illuminated the summit and we began our descent down into the gorge and ended up beside the rushing water that was once far below us.
The legend of Tiger Leaping Gorge is said to be that a hunter was chasing a tiger through the gorge and when it reached the narrowest point, the tiger leaped across the river and escaped the hunter. To pay homage to the legend, the viewer may notice that I included a small silhouette of a tiger leaping over the water in the gorge.
The materiality of the piece is primarily influenced by the fleeting nature of our experiences. The layers of paper culminate to create a beautiful scene, however as the book is explored, the journey is equally as beautiful and ornate, revealing new secrets in every flip of the page until it is all gone. The paper has a delicate quality — as if one wrong move could rip a page and ruin the scene. However, even if that did occur, the scene would still exist and would simply take on a different character than it had previously. This parallels the beauty and lack of control we have in the macrocosm of the world.