Wake in Guangzhou: The History of the Earth is a site-specific installation exhibited
in in the Guangdong Museum of Art in Guangzhou, China, that problematizes
issues of migration, trade, and landscape transformation.
Wake in Guangzhou investigates the origin of the seeds found on the site
of Huagui Lu, in the Liwan district in Guangzhou’s city center, where today a
hundred wholesale markets exist. A mound of earth was removed from Huagui
lu, a street in the Liwan District, the former merchant quarter’s of Guangdong.
The earth sample was put in the courtyard of the Guangzhou Museum so dormant
seeds previously buried in deep layers could germinate when exposed.
The botanist Heli Jutila writes, “Although seeds seem to be dead, they are in
fact alive and can remain vital in soil for decades, and even hundreds of years
in a state of dormancy.”