It’s been decades since land art was considered novel.
Since ancient times, humankind has been borrowing materials from nature to create things. Not only would they sculpture and paint inside caves, but they would also present natural scenery and the emotions of being inside it on landscape paintings. During the 1960s and 1970s, a number of American artists started mobilizing themselves to the vast and remote regions to create a series of site-specific artworks in response to the ruthless commercialization of the gallery system. Their works, created mostly out of resources found in mountains, streams, ocean, forest, etc., are categorized as ‘land art’ for their necessary connections with the nature. Today, contemporary art does not confine itself to a specific form. Similarly, land art does not confine itself to its earlier state. In spite of that, land art still retains a close affinity to nature.
Land and art in Hong Kong: what can they be like?
In 2016, Art Together organized two Sustainable Fest, gathering urbanites from all backgrounds to return to the mother nature through a series of art celebrations.
In the fall of 2017, with a view to furthering the spirit of sustainable living, Art Together launched the 6-month “Breathe in the Nature” Land Art Camp, hoping to bring together the city dwellers and its natural assets. In total the group has organized two public introductory talks on land art and five large-scale camping series in Lantau Island and Sai Kung. Out of natural resources such as rock, wood and soil, a hundred and seventy participants created their sculptures, collages, installations, etc. under respective guidance of ten local artists from various artistic backgrounds. Interesting examples include circle drawing on the morning Sai Wan with trunks and human body as centre, charcoal baking with canned dry wood pieces, a collage of footsteps and wastes found on Pak Lap Wan, pottery baking with mud and cow dung, etc.
Art Together first initiated “Breathe in the Nature” series in 2013, but did not realize it due to financial reasons. The following years saw a scatter of land art camps attempted by local art groups- it has been five years by now. By sharing our art camp experience this time, we hope to inspire and facilitate land art attempts in Hong Kong.
In the future, what will make our land and art in Hong Kong?
Hope to see you in nature.