Elena's Hair

Watercolour, pencil and colour pencil on paper, acrylic panel, wooden roller and waterpipe. 

This work was done during Kook’s residency in Confucius Institute, Nuremberg-Erlangen. The artist researched into Nazi Rally Ground in Nuremberg and Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, together with her previous research into the history of Hong Kong, raising the questions about the so-called “non-place” that were left because of political problems that tied to its era.

The name of the work comes from the nickname of the shield located above the fuel channel in Chernobyl reactor 4, the twisted fuel bundle still attached to the shield is called Elena’s Hair. The work focuses on human-made disasters, rethinking the relationship between individual humans and history. 36 drawings on six pieces of hexagonal wooden rollers illustrated various historical events: a useless race track tells a social landscape during Japanese occupation of Hong Kong; the swimming pool symbolized people’s beautiful fantasy of a techno-utopia, however it ended with disaster. There is another incident that is closely related to the swimming pool. The fire bowl that once stood at the top of both wings of Zeppelin Tribune in Nazi Rally Ground. After the rally ground was abandoned, one of the two huge fire bowls that once looked up to everyone was moved inside the so-called “Golden Hall” inside the Zeppelin Tribune. Whereas the other one somehow was used as a paddling pool for children in the public swimming pool. After 2008, it was moved to the back of the Zeppelin Tribune with the whole body still covered with orange and blue paint.

Everyone is encouraged to create their own story (decisions) by rolling the wooden roller. The installation makes a total of 46,656 different combinations of stories. Isn't human history made up of countless individuals?