The Old Pines: Becoming of the Seaside Village, 2021

Busan Sea Art Festival 2021, Ilgwang Beach, Busan, South Korea
October 16 – November 14, 2021

Artistic Director: Ritika Biswas
Artist’s assistant: Krittaporn Mahaweerarat
Curatorial theme: Non-/Human Assemblages
Materials and dimensions: Pine Poles, Mosquito nets, LED Lights, 400x350x350 each

Multichromatic islands of mosquito net and pinewood poles assemble at different points of convergence between sand and sea on Ilgwang beach; some are submerged in the waves, others perched on the dry upper slopes of the beach. These structures materialise from the memory of the once-extant pine forest that covered Ilgwang Beach at the intersection between Icheon-ri and Hak-ri fishing villages. Re-imagining and interpreting how spectral histories of once-places haunt present geographies, jiandyin creates these site-specific island-interventions to trace and manifest such spatial transformations.

Speaking to Marc Augés ideas of intangible ‘non-places’ in our supermodernity as well as
steeped in historical research about Gijang village, this installation evokes different tangents of how human memories and non-human landscapes interrelate and affect one another in non-teleological ways. Do spaces exist before bodies inhabit them? Is Ilgwang Beach or the East Sea extricable from the seaside villages of Gijang county? Do jiandyin’s islands hold any potential meaning until a visitor passes through them? The Old Pines parses these questions of placeness and placelessness, of phenomenological distance and the metaphysical. Visitors enter these tents and for a transient moment, view this landscape through the hazy, porous net which acts as both a pedagogical lens and a portal. The inherently unstable and precarious relations between space and bodies accumulate and find shelter in these bright oases.

Photos by Busan Sea Art Festival 2021