In collaboration with Mitsu Salmon
Installation and performance at Lincoln Park Conservatory (Chicago, Illinois)
Mt. Shamao is a site-responsive installation inhabiting Lincoln Park’s Fern Room. The work looks at man-made tropical paradises as connected to archives, importation, and utopias.
The installation was developed through research in Taiwan at the Forestry Research Institute and drawing historical and metaphorical lines back to Lincoln Park Conservatory's past and present. Ryozo Kanehira, Salmon’s great-grandfather was head of the Taipei Botanical Gardens in the early 1900s. Kanehira was a well-known botanist from Japan, who did extensive work in Taiwan during the Japanese occupation. In the same period, Chicago created five botanical conservatories (including the Lincoln Park) which were displays of wealth and imperialism much like the botanical ventures by the Japanese in Taiwan.
Playing with these parallel histories, the collaboration create a visual and sonic reflection that draw from the past archives and collected data of the two environments today.
For the performance, Movement and tableau take over the room, choreography which alludes to the study of plants, the growth pattern of trees, and the disconnectedness of displaced plants. Through the structure of a tour, performance-movement, and data-driven sounds collected over the course of the installation, Milad Mozari and Mitsu Salmon work with an ensemble in contemporary dance, Butoh and breakdancing.
Performed by Alex Hayashi, Leroy Hearon, Carole McCurdy, Jasmine Mendoza, Milad Mozari, Harlan Rosen and Mitsu Salmon
Photo credits: Alex Inglizian