Healing the Earth

Submitted by Jane Ingram Allen

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Client: Nan Hwa University

Location: Dalin, Chiayi County, Taiwan, Province of China

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $3,000

Project Team

Artist

Jane Ingram Allen

Client

Dr. Hui, Chair of Landscape Architecture Dept.

Nan Hua University

Overview

This was a 3 week artist in residency project with the artist commissioned to design and create with the students an outdoor sculpture installation using local natural materials called "Healing the Earth" consisting of 250 colorful handmade paper prayer flags (each A4 size and unique in design) created with students at the university as a sculpture to mark the entrance to the university. The prayer flags are in the traditional five colors representing all of the elements and in the proper order for balance (blue, white, red, green and yellow)

Goals

This commissioned artwork was totally integrated into the overall design of the project and created with cooperation and participation by students and faculty at the university.

Process

I collaborated with the Chair of the Environmental Art and Landscape Architecture program and he provided a graduate student to be my main assistant for this project. The Prof./Chair also arranged for me to meet with a local Feng Chui Master to get his advice about how to "heal the earth" at this part of the campus....when the university was built a road was cut here through a beautiful natural area and the university felt this part of the earth should be given special healing through art. Students from throughout the campus and their teachers were involved in the project making handmade paper and decorating each of the paper prayer flags. Students and local engineers helped with the installation using a large crane and highway department personnel.

Additional Information

This was an incredible amount of work for the three-week residency but students and faculty were introduced to concepts and process for environmental art projects and hand papermaking using local natural plant waste materials. The brightly colored prayer flags added a great burst of color on each side of the campus entrance road. Hopefully, the university will continue to commission ecoart projects and use natural materials.