Mounting on Rocks

*This letter is an email that was sent to the art critic Park Chan- kyong as an account of the work Mounting on Rocks.

Hello Mr. Park.

I am sending you pictures and drawings of Mounting on Rocks.

Mounting on Rocks is a work made by attaching orchids such as Nado-pungran, Soyeop-pungran, Geumrugak, and so on onto fragments of found cement, bricks, egg box panels, discarded paper, or paint rollers, or onto a structure cast with cement using a plastic bottle as a mold.

The initial thought for Mounting on Rocks was very simple. I wanted to attach an Aerides orchid, which inhabits harsh environments such as cliffs, onto an unexpected material such as cement fragments or bricks that look like suiseki [viewing stones]. Also, I was contemplating making a more proper version of the seokbujak [mounting orchid on rocks] piece that I previously worked on as a part of the exhibition design for the pre-biennale of the 2013 SeMA Biennale Media City Seoul.

As I have spent the past month placing Aerides orchidsinto cement chunks and watering them, I found the once- exclusive hobby of seokbujak—now in a period of decline— to be refreshingly fascinating. It is only a small landscape, the size of a palm or a human head. Yet it functions as a sort of portal towards an exquisite perspective (fantasy – paradise), at least in one’s imagination.

Although I am not able to articulate it step by step, I am thinking that a seokbujak work could be a breakthrough for the artistic blockage tied up in Buoy Light or Waterfall.

Among the pictures I am sending you, there is one image of a seokbujak made out of an Aerides orchid that I have been nurturing, a piece of a hemp rag, a broom, and waste paper, all attached in cement.

I chose cement as the primary material because it is very good for imitating natural stones. There was a period when making artificial rock faces out of cement was in fashion.I once had a part-time job modeling ancient buildings or landscapes such as Petra, the Yungang Grottoes, and Mt. Kilimanjaro out of cement. When making artificial rock with cement, you first have to roughly shape cement that has not yet fully solidified. Then, you apply water with a proper amount of pressure using a hose connected to a faucet to create the effect of natural weathering from the force of the pressure and the movement of the water trickling down.

I am sending you this brief email with only some of my thoughts. I had intended to write a statement on Mounting on Rocks, but my thoughts are not yet organized. I will send it to you again when I have a clearer grasp of it.

                                                                                           Sincerely, Yongju Kwon

Orchid, cement, broom, mop, etc

Orchid, cement, wire, string, etc

Orchid, cement, rope, wire, string, etc