Site-Writing

Nothingness Beyond Blossom (2021)
  • Chia-Ying Chou | Isle of Grain, Kent

  • Photo by Chia-Ying Chou Photo by Chia-Ying Chou Photo by Chia-Ying Chou Photo by Chia-Ying Chou Photo by Chia-Ying Chou Photo by Chia-Ying Chou
  • Nothingness Beyond Blossom (2021)
  • Chia-Ying Chou | Isle of Grain, Kent
  • ‘Each landscape, no matter how calm and lovely, conceals a substratum of disaster’.
    Robert Smithson

    The book is a choreography of the Isle of Grain.
    A land dweller from here
    To elsewhere.
    From vigorous summer to another severe winter.


    Nothingness Beyond Blossom is a summer landscape book of the Isle of Grain, an extension of the winter book, Another Borderland. The landscape here is deeply engaged with not only time but seasons – it is a landscape in flux. To situate myself here is not only about embedding myself into the Isle of Grain but reflecting on it through every moment in flux. Following the changes in the external environment, the way this is perceived is also changeable. Therefore, Nothingness Beyond Blossom  is an artist’s book which responds to the faded military landscape through the temporality of the seasons. 

    Nothingness Beyond Blossom is inspired by the coating of sugar-like blossom scattered on the land, which softens war-time traces with the colourful flourish of nature. This landscape book produced as spring turns to summer explores the scarred landscape of the Isle of Grain through material archives. Exploring conditions of absence and presence via a series of excavations, and guided by on-site materialities and movements, Nothingness Beyond Blossom unfolds landscape memories embedded in this faded military terrain. These excavations reveal the blurred traces of war ruins etched into the blossomed trenches. Following spring comes summer, a transitional moment where the land comes alive and where the military traces become even lighter. However, when summer is over, the scars will be revealed again in the severeness of winter.


    Biography

    Chia-Ying Chou was born in Taiwan and is currently based in London. She holds a Bachelors in Architecture from Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan (equivalent with RIBA Part 1 and 2) and completed Situated Practice MA with distinction in 2022. Her career moves back and forth between different disciplines, so that it is hard to define herself as a single identity. Her works try to find an anchor in the blurred boundaries ‘in-between’ city, nature, politics, and social contexts. Re-definitions and temporality are the two spirits guiding her practice. Instead of pursuing the timeless eternity of art, she expresses her point of view by re-defining the flux of situations in highly changeable societies. Her works move through diverse methodologies, such as illustration, essay films, photography, soundscape and artists book formats. 

    While attending the Bartlett, she was introduced to site-writing through the Critical Spatial Practice: Site-Writing module taught by Jane Rendell, David Roberts and Polly Gould, where she has started her current practice, in the Of{f} Borderlands Series, which focuses on the blurred borderland between her motherland Taiwan and her assigned official country China. She reflects in this liminality through the faded military landscape of the UK, which reveals the fragile future of Taiwan and the issue that everywhere is at war. 

    https://lisacomeshere.cargo.site


    Practices

    A book without a language as a sculpture unfolds the temporality of Grain and the materiality of the war condition, shaped by the earth. 

    The unpleasant salty sea flavour, the fragrance of fresh earth and even the unspeakable smell of paper pulp might exude from pages as we read it. 

    The book narrated by the earth reveals the potential of another archive. 

    It addresses the scars remembered by the ground, that have not disappeared, merely become lighter, in the faded military landscape of the Isle of Grain here and now, and borderlands of somewhere from the future. 

    Meanwhile, the project unfolds the multiplicities of sites of art between archive, sculpture, and book.


    Keywords
    War, Scar, Absence, Season, Materiality

    References

    Francis Alys, Sometimes Doing Something Poetic Can Become Political and Sometimes Doing Something Political Can Become Poetic. (2007). Exhibition and Publication. 

    Rosalind Krauss, ‘Sculpture in the Expanded Field,’ October, 8, (1979). Essay.

    Jorge Otero-Pailos, The Ethics of Dust (2016). Artwork.


    Other projects
  • Unter der Hohen Brücke. 
digging in a ditch, writing for a place 
(2021)
  • Signal/Noise: Ambient Text in the Urban Landscape (ongoing project)
  • Nothingness Beyond Blossom (2021)
  • Corvid-19 (15 March 2021)
  • 1_5
    Glòries_(Eixample). A dispositive for very slow aesthetic observation, (January 2021 –)
  • As Lightning to the Children Eased (January 2021)
  • Station F (October 2020)
  • 1
    Inscription: the Journal of Material Text – Theory, Practice, History,
    issue # 1: ‘beginnings,’ (2020)
  • Homekeeping-image_sml
    Homekeeping (2020)
  • City Embers (2020)
  • Between Our Words I will Trace Your Presence (February 2020)
  • What Remains (2019)
  • Situated Writing as Theory and Method (2019)
  • Parts Apart Read Together (2019)
  • Fields of Awareness, (2019, 3min 18 secs)
  • A Non-Aligned Narrative in and Around KSEVT, (2019)
  • 21 Orientations: An Atlas of Geographic Promiscuity (2019)
  • The Windowless Hotel Room (2018)
  • Spaces of Grief (2018)
  • Soft Landing (2018)
  • Shared Remains (April 2018)
  • Metropolitan Salem, Liuerpul (9 June – 18 August 2018)
  • Things Come Apart (21 – 24 March 2018)
  • Learn to Read Differently (2018)
  • Il Balcone. A site-writing performance (2018)
  • History begins with the vanity of kings (2018)
  • Dear Mr. Jung: Inhabiting Carl Jung’s ‘The Red Book’ (May 2018)
  • A Lunar Perspective, (2018-2020)
  • Heaton Hall: A Palimpsest (2017)
  • Location (+) (2017)
  • There’s Sand in My Infinity Pool (2017)
  • Talking Quilts (April 2017)
  • fifteen ways to cross the desert (2017)
  • Between Landscape and Confinement: Situating the Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft (2017)
  • A Ficto-Historical Theory of the London Underground (2017)
  • The Glorious Tomb to the Memory of Nothing (2016)
  • The Arrival’s Reader; A Visual Literary Criticism on The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2016)
  • Reading as Art (27 August-19 November 2016)
  • Re: development (London: Silent Grid, 2016)
  • Kjemikerens død [The Death of the Chemist] (23 – 26 May 2016)
  • Kingsland High Street (2016)
  • Foray in a Modern Reserve: An Impounding Portrait of Landuse (2016 – 2018)
  • Fall of the Derwent (2016)
  • Away from Home – Home from Away (April 2016)
  • Penguin Pool (2015)
  • Geography Lessons: Liberian Landmarks 1953-2013 (2015)
  • Women’s Anarchist Nuisance Café (2014)
  • The Writing on the Wall (after Rembrandt) (2014)
  • The Italic I (2014)
  • Designing Architecture as a Performing-Ground (2014)
  • Urban Literacy (2013/2014/2016)
  • The Disappearance: Manfredo Tafuri’s The Sphere and the Labyrinth (April 2013)
  • Folded Ground: Escape from Cape Town (2013)
  • Phantom Railings (2012 – 2017)
  • In The Emptiness Between Them (2012)
  • 10/08/12 (multispecies event) (2012)
  • An Arcades Project (2011)
  • Tideline (2010-2012)
  • The Museum of Breath (2010)
  • Slab (2010)
  • One wound. Two wounds. The body as site for writing (2010)
  • The Fluid Pavement and Other Stories on Growing Old (2006)
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