Beijing artist Song Dong created a potted landscape for Oi!, which has essentially an accumulation of organic material and rubble from the community. The project fitted in with the natural environment by growing native grasses and flowers. This integrated artificial landscape raised the question: can doing nothing lead to creating something?
Throughout the year since November 2015, we had invited different organizations and the public to be co-creators of the Doing Nothing Garden and do whatever they want freely in the ‘Freedom Ground', a piece of land enclosed by a simple ring designed by the artist. On the sixth day of the Lunar New Year (13th February 2016), Song Dong covered the traces and waste of the free actions conducted here with soil. Seeds that were sown and watered, with ‘freedom' acting as the ‘fertilizer' or ‘poison' became the foundation of growth and naturally developed into a new landscape.
With the naturally emerged seedlings grown and evolved, a new ‘Freedom Ground' was therefore formed. Interventions also continue on the landscape: slow living practitioners enjoyed ‘doing nothing' through meditations, an artist built unlivable houses, Jazz band practiced for nothing, young experimentalist conducted an experiment of uncertainties…
On 26th November 2016, the public joined Song Dong to conduct a Dismantling Ceremony for the Doing Nothing Garden, during which they witnessed the fruitful outcome of the project, distributed the plants and soil from the garden to the community in order to endure the spirit of the Doing Nothing Garden.
From scratch, nothing turns into something, to prosperity, and to nothing again, paying back to life.
The potted landscape represents the creation of a miniature, while the Doing Nothing Garden represents the epitome of the society.
Humankind falls into an endless cycle of development and destruction…
Efforts are undertaken, but nothing is guaranteed in the end.
What truly matters is the process that we have been through.