Revital HGS (2014)

Co-production: Hiroki Yoshioka, Tomoya Ishibashi

This work is an installation consisting of three video works.

 

Until the 18th century, there was a view that minerals were regarded as a kind of living organisms like animals and plants. Alchemists tried to create gold, an elixir of immortality, or the life itself by manipulating the vitality inherent in minerals as raw materials. Later, with the advent of biology, minerals lost their lives, but once they were certainly alive.

 

In this video, in a modern biology laboratory, we tried to revive the scene that alchemists once dreamed of. The experimental manipulations performed on minerals here are almost nonsense from the perspective of modern science. However, the experimental results obtained accidentally by rudimentary mistakes such as contamination and mistakes give minerals a faint sense of life again through our active interpretation and imagination.

 

The ore <Cinnabar> used in this work is composed of mercury sulfide (HgS), and mercury can be extracted by heating at high temperature. Mercury is the only metal that exists as a liquid at room temperature, and it has the illusionary property that it combines with other metals to change into various substances, and even after that, pure mercury can be easily taken out. Due to its mysterious nature, cinnabar was often used as a raw material for alchemy in the east and west.