The action of making stone piles can be found around the world. No one knows who started this practice or... Read More
The action of making stone piles can be
found around the world. No one knows who started this practice or the reason.
Perhaps it started from a primitive feeling shared by all humanity when
interacting with nature, and slowly gained differentiated social implications –
sometimes it is for marking, sometime it is simply a game, and at other times,
it could be a form of making wishes. For me, however, it is about geometry.
During my residency in Korea, I saw a
tourist advertisement in the metro, promoting tourism in Baekdamsa Valley.
There was an ancient temple in Seoraksan National Park, and there were hundreds
of stone piles, each taller than a person and stacked for making wishes,
erected on the riverbed in front of the temple. I 3D-scanned these stone piles
and unfolded the 3D models to create three unfolded Drafts, which
corresponded to three angles. Then, I measured the 2D angles of the triangles
that constituted the 3D models to obtain an average triangle, which was then
overlapped with an equilateral triangle to compare the difference of their
centroids. The difference was expressed in percentage to sum up how far from
perfection a stone pile was. The entire process was also visualized by another
work, Landscape of Sun and Mountain. As for the data and whether a wish
could come true or not, I left them for the audience’s interpretation and free
The extensive process of measuring and calculating the stone piles became
another ritual of mine even though the final numbers might seem irrelevant – as
all things associated with luck are – to the stone piles. However, it is human
instinct to long for natural signs, which might allow us to glimpse into the
future through any potential interaction. The mysterious, majestic nature and
the exact, understated mathematics might be believable or not, but humanity
would always find its own obsession.