Green Cave, 2022
Fresco, 40 square meters approx
3rd Jeju Biennal
Gapado AiR Open Studio and special exhibition 2022, Gapa island (KR)
There is an abandoned house in Gapado. The owner is dead, yet the house is alive. Plants encroach it on one side, so that from the road it doesn’t look like a house but like a forest, the only one on an island without trees, while the path leading from the road to the garden is covered with shells as sharp as gems.
The building reminds of Pompeian domus, ancient Roman houses buried in dust after the eruption of a volcano and then brought back to light after almost two millennia. It makes me think of the state of abandonment of many places on the island, which, bent by the force of atmospheric events, are surrendered by humans to nature like a pledge.
Inside the five house rooms, I create a fresco.* It is the result of six months of research into nature and life in Gapado. The fresco painting technique, since it’s a mural painting, allows me to turn the house into an imaginary cave, in which the stories of the living and the dead can intertwine and coexist.
Inside the five house rooms, I create a fresco. It is the result of six months of research into nature and life in Gapado. The fresco painting technique, since it’s a mural painting, allows me to turn the house into an imaginary cave, in which the stories of the living and the dead can intertwine and coexist.
In the first two spaces, among the rocks, some white dogs can be seen: they are ghosts, sleeping guardians who were buried in their homes in Pompeii. Here they lead us to the abyss.
Quartered Striped beakfish slide among terrestrial plants, while two women are hugging each other among Gapado’s shores. They are my mother and sister.
High up in the ceiling, a cattle egrets holds a scolopendra in its beak, while far away, among ripe figs, a pheasant approaches the seabed crossing a forest of Ecklonia cava. There, the ocean is also a starry sky, marked by the passage of shining anchovies. I paint myself while I depose a sea turtle. I imagine I can give the animal a dignified burial in its ocean.
When I turn and walk out of the house, I see light shining through the bushes that surround the building. The leaves create a trembling mosaic of shadows, and while the path of sharp shells shows me the way out, I realize I am still inside my abyss.
Thanks to Gapado AiR and the artists in residence, Jeju Biennale, Yasmil Raymond, Gapado headman, Kwak Sanghoon, Sin Hyunjeon, Sim Nahee, Cha Seongjin, the neighbors, Gapado villagers.
Special thanks to my father Raffaello and all my family, Enrico and the friends who have been sending their support from the other side of the world to here.
To my grandfather Mario.
3rd Jeju Biennial, Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art, 2022 (KR)
Transparence: Sense and Mind, Kumho Museum of Arts, Seoul 2023 (KR)