On July 28, 2023, Echo Correspondence presented artist Tianzhuo Chen's solo presentation, "≈ 70%," which unfolded as a site-specific installation and proposed ideas of cross-species and cross-life entanglement.
Having participated in Echo Correspondence's studio program in 2023, Chen intervened with the space, making use of the high-backed wooden pavilion, giving it a feeling of watery infinity. The notoriously dome-shaped sphere inside Echo, formed by a canopy of tall green tree crowns, gave leeway to a glimpse into the biting blue lungs of the world - the ocean - in tandem with an unobstructed view of the sky.
Water covers about 70 percent of the Earth's surface and puts the ocean's share of the biosphere at more than 99 percent. "≈70%" is Chen's attempt to narrate a tale of the few remaining instances where codependency in human-nature relationships leads to subsistence and take a closer look at cross-species entanglement.
"Ocean Cage," Chen's work-in-progress markes a small, seemingly inconsequential spot on the globe, Lamalera, in which the artist's modus operandi opens up a complex narrative. Chen shines a light onto the people of a remote volcanic island in Indonesia, one of the last fisher communities permitted to engage in whaling. Tales about spirits and songs about ancestors accompany the people of Lamalera out into the depths of the ocean in their search for sperm whales. The film is a monocle visualising a circle of life in which the past transcended.
The film delves into the intricate tapestry of rituals, performances, and enigmatic forms of spirits while unraveling the multifaceted relationship between indigenous cultures, ecology, and humanity.
Through immersive displays and thought-provoking sketches, visitors embarked on a journey that transcended time and space, exploring the ethical dilemmas faced by the Lamalera community, the clashes between tradition and modernity, and the ever-evolving dance of harmony between humans and nature.