Verduodus Suburbanus Bucolia (2018)

All photos on this page courtesy of Luggage Store Gallery/Jay Jones Photography, except where otherwise noted

Verduodus, Silent Video, 7:11. Videography by Jon Wai-keung Lowe. Performed with Todd Nakagawa and Pearl Wong.
Suburbanus, Fountain Installation ( Trash bin, steel pipe, sawhorse, inflatable pool, pump, hose)
Bucolia, Handmade inflatable suits (Rip-stop nylon, Velcro, cotton muslin, power adaptor, elastic, fans, mannequin)

Verduodus Suburbanus Bucolia is a three-part installation inspired by landscaping and garden topiary, featuring a series of stand-alone inflatable suits that awkwardly camouflage wearers among domesticated shrubbery; with a video projection of the suits interacting with nature, and a small working fountain made of common household items . Arranged as a small garden environment, the inflatable suits periodically puff and swell to their own rhythm as the steady sound of running water permeates the space.

New towns and landscaped gardens featured prominently in post-war residential housing development in California as well as in other parts of the nation. The social and economic climate of the era informed their design and realization. With an emerging middle-class, building racial tensions and need for housing, the landscaped gardens embodied unattainable ideals of the indoor-outdoor utopian reverie of single-family living. Verduodus Suburbanus Bucolia plays with this paradoxical relationship between between the built environment and nature; clumsily negotiates the tension between individualism and conformity; and inelegantly manoeuvers between modern austerity and agrarian fantasy. The work engages in what progressive architects of the era condescendingly referred to as the “conspicuous blooming performance.”* 

The Sea Ranch, p. 24.  Donlyn Lyndon, James Alinder, Donald Canty, Lawrence Halprin. Princeton Architectural Press

Exhibited at the Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco (2018)

view on youtube

Photo by Wang Wei