“The body knows and remembers. Architectural meaning derives from archaic responses and reactions remembered by the body and the senses.”.
- Juhani Pallasmaa
Kaohsiung is a southern city surrounded by the mountains and the ocean. After a hundred years of modernization, this tropical city has become an important industrial anchor in Taiwan for the past few decades. However, there has always been a distance between Kaohsiung and Kaohsiung’s surrounding landscape.
Through inserting a landscape installation alongside the Kaohsiung Harbor area, we narrate an alternative narrative of our imagination towards nature softly comes into view:
We pursue tangible satisfaction and a civilized society constructed by rationality.
But we also crave for spirituality and the purely perceptive physical experience.
The installation consists of an 18-meter and a 36-meter-long free-form concrete walls, which form an artificial canyon with a varied-width opening.
The fog emerges occasionally, diffusing from the walls into the canyon. Walking in this foggy, twisted, and twirled path, one couldn’t find the exit. Lost and overwhelmed by unfamiliarity, the body senses have once again taken charge as the sole means of communication.
Outside the canyon, the concrete walls are covered with meadow slope on one side, and terrazzo ramp with inlaid luminous stones on the other.
Perhaps our exploration towards nature does not necessarily rely on the actual nature. But rather relies on the animalistic movement of reflection that takes place within the milliseconds, the pure desire to emancipate the fully charged energy, or the sense of freedom to arbitrarily get across.
Humans’ yearning for nature is never mere nostalgia. It is in fact deeply rooted in our habit through millions of years of biological evolution. In the blink of an eye, we are trapped in our own colossal artifacts.
By means of the involvement of artificial and technological intervention, the abstract sensuous experience is made possible to reappear in the urban context. Urban/natural, artificial/organic, because of the existence of humanity, the two get reconciled.