Horti Cultus

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Installation; 12.5m x 6.2m x 3.55m(h) & 82m x 114m x 2.4m(h). PVC, aluminum, plywood, foam, a room & a grass field. A 3-month installation at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany

The project title "Horti Cultus" contrasts the formality of Latin with the pleasing effect of gardens. A garden is constructed, with no plant but plastics, the very artificial material we have. Culture roots in cultivation, the makin use of the land. We survey, identify, set coordinates and transform lands of wilderness into usefulness. While gardens are the advanced stage of land cultivating, gardening has its psychological pursuit--it aims at the creation of pleasing effects through the articulation of nature.
Though gardens relate to nature, all gardens are indeed artificial. Nature within it is a human projection with layers of mediation. A garden with plastics furthers the artificiality of this projection. Another nature is projected. A not-yet ever existed, man-made natural phenomenon would be created, through a man-made construct with man-made materials.
The project deals with Geometry, not in shapes, forms nor even the spatial relationship but the human consciousness toward it. Geometry as Ideal Objects, how they project toward us and how Ideas (Geometry) face Senses (Human Being) once they perform themselves in the site of reality. How we see them and what we see (the materialized ideas?), how they arouse our innermost sensuality and eventually reach a sensual understanding of ourselves—how things project to us and how we build up the understanding toward them.
The project works with 2 spaces--the outdoor grassland and a room within the Akademie building. On the opening day, the 'Garden' is in the room and starting on the following day, the 'Garden' will be transplanted to the field in a month and a half.
Apart from the sequential relationship between the 2 spaces, they are counterparts and also spontaneously act as the anti-poles. The 2 spaces are both visually and physically connected. The room has 6 windows on 3 sides. Opposite to the remaining blank wall there is a doorway leading to the grassland. Mirror will be installed on the blank wall and form an illusion of a square room with 4 sides of window, in almost the same proportion with the grassland outside. In the middle of the room, 800 plastic rods in grey, made of PVC, 2 meters in height, will be 'planted' on 2 separated raised beds, which made out of perforated aluminum sheet and plywood. No soil is filled but piles of condensed foam. Between the 2 raised beds it is the path leading to the doorway. On each raised bed, 20 times 20 rods are 'planted'. They will be effected under the changing of natural light, the breeze through the windows, gravity and the elasticity of the rods.
The interior garden is both an actualization of itself and a representation of the forthcoming one on the grassland, for the transplant of the interior ‘Garden’ will be in proportion with an enlargement of 10 times in dimension and 100 times in density. At the centre of each rectangle, a space with the same size of the interior ‘Garden’ will leave empty, as a negative space which reminds the geometry in the room.
All of these acts are shadowed in uncertainties, for the grassland is actually a farm for growing hay. The project is a co-ordination with the farmer. In every late spring or early summer, the grass hay will grow rapidly and the farmer will cut twice. This period overlaps exactly with the time of the project. The transplant of the ‘Garden’ will commence after the farmer’s first cut. Natural condition affects the schedule of the transplant. Amount of rainfall, sunshine hours, the soil condition, wind... The piece then deals with both definiteness (geometry) and uncertainty (nature); at the same time requires full precision and ultimate adaptability.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventHorti Cultus - Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany
Duration: 14 May 20043 Jul 2004


  • Visual Arts
  • Architecture
  • Garden
  • Installation


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