Listening Garden, 2017
Group exhibition and durational performance
Show and Tell Projects, Los Angeles
Listening Garden was a curatorial project where the role of the curator and her process was inspired by the garden practice of zen gardeners based on ancient scripts about their life and the philosophy of their gardens. As a contemporary, artistic translation of these ancient gardens, the project aimed to give time and space for various 'acts of listening'. As the gardener, my role was to invite artists to unfold their creative expressions within the garden environment, to engage with the visitors by dancing and writing poems for them, to make tea for the guests, to groom the plants and to sweep the floor.
The fading and drying out of the hanging plants suggested that Listening Garden was also a metaphor for a living and dying archive. During the one-month exhibition period the garden grew and transformed by absorbing and storing the creative voices of the participating guest artists (Kiyomi Fukui, Seek Ceramics/Grace Eunchong, Shea Vititow, Gregory Lenczycki), the responses of the visitors and thoughts and energy by myself. ‘Listening’ inside the Listening Garden meant ‘paying true attention’ to ourselves and our surroundings. Listening Garden was a transformation of the art gallery into a place for rest, touch, feel, taste, smell and listen without typical gallery limitations. The garden required some attention and delicacy from the audience. In this respect, Listening Garden was also an indicator of social connection and codes of public behavior.