houhai monuments–found objects


temporary nursery, houhai

it’s been over six months since i last walked this particular section of houhai. the road has been laid and now traverses the entire site. they’re even planting trees as part of shenzhen’s ongoing efforts to become a garden city. i snapped away, aware that houhai has yet to disappoint me; something there always fascinates. indeed, houhai has been central to found objects. i found teapot there, brought most of the other objects there, and have retuned to photograph the unmovable objects i have stumbled upon there.

lately, i’ve been thinking about my houhai fascination and suddenly realized that i am drawn to objects and sites that seem monumental, in all sences of that word. large, of course, so large that the scale of transformation slips away from my efforts to conceptualize it. but also, evocative of time and its passage. the monument commemorates some past event, keeping particular memories at play in shared worlds. indeed, the monument holds time in place, so that we might create a shared worlds.

and yet. the objects i photograph only gain their monumentality in digitalized retrospect, although sometimes i actually print an image. but on any ordinary day, the objects come and go, without comment, changing what houhai might mean, begging the question of whether or not houhai participates in a shared world before something “permanent” is constructed. on houhai, only buildings and streets are named. the rest vanishes.

today, in addition to the trees, i’ve uploaded a few houhai monuments, from the past few years.


mound, houhai april, 2006

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