Art Magazine NORTH Af Mikael Hansen
International Personal Art Project
When there is water, there isn't "WATER",
When there is no water, there is "WATER"
This “Water-Performance & Installation Project 2004-2014” was planned to be done on the eleven lakes and on a river in ten countries of the world by Dongjo Yoo, Korean environ installation artist from 2004 to 2014. Opening with the Baegun Lake in Korea in 2004, they had already been performed and installed: on the Ørn Lake in Denmark in 2005, the Atn Lake in Norway in 2006, the Burley Griffin Lake in Australia in 2007, the Lake Tonle Sap in Cambodia in 2008, the River Nile in Egypt in 2009, the Lake Man Sagar, the Lake Fateh Sagar, the Lake Jaisamand in India in 2011, the Lake Poyang in China in 2012, the Lake Baikal in Russia in 2013 and the Lake Titicaca in Peru in 2014. In a boat, the artist plunges the stone on which one upside down character had already been engraved. Only when the stone stands and meets water, we can see the right shape of each letter of a word, WATER, in upside-down form, on the surface of real water which reflects it.
The number of the stones, about 30-160 kilograms each, is decided in accordance with that of the letters in a word meaning water of each country. For instance, in case of the English word 'water', each letter of W.A.T.E.R is carved on each stone in upside-down shape and thrown into five spots of different depth. The artist wants the stones thrown into a lake not to be discovered and he prays to the water on the way of the performance. When only even one of the stones is naturally discovered, it proves the change of the quantity of the water and means the mankind faces a great change. If the stone in the deepest site were exposed, only the last man could see it. In other words, all the water is dried up, it tells the last of the mankind. This represents another example of an exhibition as an extended concept of installation and sculpture. With the hardness of a stone and the eternity of water, the preservative characteristic of a deep lake will make this work the longest installed exhibition. It's possible because we believe that the stones carved with 'WATER' will be exist in the deep lake forever. As far as the water exists, it can be an everlasting hope. After all, plunging stones into 11 lakes and a river is considered as the paradoxical acts of hoping the water of the lake would not be dried. This is also closely related to the incantational ceremony of the ancient magicians who pray the rain falls or stops correlating water and stones. When art is derived from all the incantational acts that they invoke the human welfare and prevent the catastrophes, that is concerned with the apocalyptical and the preventive characteristics. The stones in the water will show many problems being able to be brought about from ecological and environmental damages as a barometer(hidden barometer) at the present day. "An object or act becomes real only insofar as it imitates or repeats another’s ritual act, that is to say, reality could be achieved only through repetition or participation." -Mircea Eliade- Refer to Pictures and Texts on the pages 13-20 of Art Magazine "NORTH" number 154 (2015)