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NOT SO FAR, NOT TOO CLOSE
Collaborators: Hao Liang, Vita Wang, Cy Zhang
Role: Landscape Architect
Status: 2020 Jardins de Métis International Garden Festival Competition Entry
Isolation has been the theme of 2020. We eagerly try to grasp our relationships in and with the physical world while seeking resolutions for an uncertain future. It is more apparent than ever we are confronted by two ongoing crises: a health crisis that exposes our vulnerabilities; and a climate crisis that increasingly erodes our civilization. Under this context, Not So Far, Not Too Close(NSFNTC) attempts to knit the disorder of the environmental meltdown with the order of social distancing and present it as a symbolic overlap.
NSFNTC is a series of “floating ice” (precast concrete) with footprints of animals unique to Quebec(tactile inlay), sitting on a 2mx2m grid(aluminum edging) embedded in the ground(gravel). It intends to remind visitors of their joyous pristine experience with the outdoors. Visitors will be fully immersed in the woods. They are invited to explore the magic forest with mysterious creatures, like our childhood fairy tales. While children run freely, discovering and learning, adults’ inner playfulness will also be invoked.
NSFNTC is an antidote to isolation. We wish to create a wonderland where visitors can cherish the moment of gathering, and also contemplate our relationship to the natural world.
As an interactive installation in the forest, Not So Far, Not Too Close(NSFNTC) showcases the garden's beauty by inviting visitors to be fully immersed in nature. They are encouraged to walk, run, jump, touch, and engage while recognizing the fragility of our environment through the metaphorical ice sheets. NSFNTC is a cabinet of curiosities, allowing people to explore nature’s intricacies. It is also a respite from the virtual world that we are forced into by the pandemic.
Footprints of animals unique to the ecological regions of Quebec that are threatened by global warming will be inlaid in the concrete slabs. Patterns and locations are randomized, waiting to be discovered by the visitors.