Wake in Guangzhou

The History of the Earth

in Volume 7 (2017): Issue 2 (Jun 2017)
Restricted access

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.”